As you know, Simwood Mobile is now live and you can finally become your very own MVNO!
We’ve had a lot of questions over the past week so I thought I’d address some of the common ones here:
How do I buy it?
Glad you asked! You can buy a developer pack from the portal by clicking on the Mobile tab and placing your order. This will get you 5 SIMs and access to our mobile API and Portal so you can develop your product.
When you’re ready to go into production simply get in touch with our Operations Desk and we’ll send you out an order form and contract to electronically sign. Once we’ve processed that you’ll get access to the branding and fulfilment features of the API and Portal so you can order SIMs with your own branding (or that of your customers, or actually any branding you choose).
Do you send SIMs directly to my end-users?
We certainly do! When you order SIMs through the API or Portal we allow you to set a “Sender” name and return address – this is used on the documentation accompanying the SIM which is all white-labelled and doesn’t mention Simwood anywhere.
If you’d like any custom packaging or have any other requirements for fulfilment, please get in touch.
What about international roaming?
We’re working on roaming agreements right now but this isn’t quite as simple as normal mobile roaming; we need to ensure that all traffic is brought back into our network so it can be passed on to you to perform your magic. In traditional roaming scenarios in-country calls are usually terminated by the host network so obviously this breaks our model.
We don’t have a timescale for roaming but rest assured that as soon as we have something to announce we’ll do so here on the blog.
Will you launch a 4G product?
We get asked this quite a lot thanks to all the marketing being done around 4G networks which offer faster data speeds over the radio network to, in our experience, often congested commodity IP networks with layers of filtering and NAT. We’re choosing to concentrate on opening up the 3G network so you can build innovative products that add real value your service and is backed by our own IP network which has been built from the ground up to support our wholesale customers.
Adding the buzzword 4G to the service right now would simply make everything more expensive just to make data speeds a bit faster and ignores all of the possibilities that are opened up by having the voice, text and data traffic flowing through your own equipment.
3G only? what about 2G?
The main customers that have asked for 2G access are looking to offer low-cost services to compete with the well known ethnic MVNOs and require 2G access so they can offer very cheap handsets and even cheaper calls. In our experience the commercials of our mobile offering don’t lend themselves to this low-margin business model and are better suited to B2B or enterprise solutions, the customers of which don’t require 2G access and adding legacy 2G support would, like 4G, add unnecessary cost for minimal benefit.
When can we port in from other networks?
We’re making some great progress with porting! We’ve completed MNP testing with most major operators but it won’t surprise you to learn that we’re waiting on some to complete. Currently one network (the one with the red logo) has been promising it will be completed “next week” for several weeks now. Progress is being made though and we hope to have porting-in available for you within the next month.
We think you’ll love our mobile porting features which allow you to do some unique things such as port in a number from another network and route all calls sent to it via your SIP platform before terminating out to your SIMs.
Are Simwood Mobile numbers in-bundle?
Not on all networks – we’re working with each network to have our ranges included in bundle but they tend to move at the speed of molasses (in some cases there is extra emphasis on the final part of that word). We’re definitely in-bundle from the “big red” network and the others are due to follow suit shortly. For those of you who missed my presentation earlier in the year this is one of the many barriers to mobile that I discussed which you can hear about here.
Do you offer revenue share on Simwood Mobile numbers?
Ofcom have regulated that the Mobile Termination Rate (MTR) will fall until 2018, it is expected to continue to fall until it matches fixed-line termination rates. Putting a mobile range into service with voice, SMS and porting is a lengthy and expensive process and we want to encourage customers to launch services with feasible long-term business models. We don’t see business models relying on revenue from the MTR as being long-term.
For customers who have their own Ofcom allocation of mobile numbers we can host these on our platform with full voice and SMS and we’ll pass on the voice MTR to you as part of our Interconnect products – for more information please see our brochure or contact our Partner Manager.
What’s happening with data?
Internet access through our network is live now as is static IPv4 addressing (with reverse DNS for your own branding requirements) – these settings are available in the API and Portal today.
Our L2TP handoff mode, which allows you to route data through your own network, will be available in the coming weeks and private networking will follow shortly afterwards.
We’re working with our RAN supplier to secure lower data pricing and will be able to offer lower pricing to anyone who is able to commit to usage. Pricing for this will be released in the coming weeks.
We invite you to pick up a Developer Pack and talk to us about your mobile requirements, if you want to see Simwood Mobile in-person come and visit us at Convergence Summit South at Sandown Park in October. We’ll be on Stand 81.