Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Wyless buys TM Data Brazil - I spy a land grab to avoid M2M permanent roaming problems

Good news for M2M service provider Wyless as it tied up a deal to acquire TM Data in Brazil (new name: Wyless TM Data Brazil). News story here. Brazil is the new hot favourite in the M2M world. The big challenge is around permanent roaming and whether you can or can't do it, and if not, what do you do about it. The consensus seems to be that you need local on-the-ground presence to guarantee your connections in this important market. At Machina Research we published a Research Note on exactly this topic last month when Vodafone announced a partnership with Datora.

One small piece of advice though: the permanent roaming issue isn't as cut and dried as everyone seems to think. We have some ongoing discussions with Anatel, the Brazilian regulator, to get to the bottom of this. We have a Portuguese-speaking analyst who used to work in Brazil on the team. And it's certainly not as simple as "you can't do permanent roaming". Several players seem to have taken the decision that the whole rigmarole is more trouble than it's worth and decided to get themselves a Brazilian presence. That certainly solves the problem and there could be more to follow.

If anyone wants to know more about this permanent roaming issue, and specifically about Brazil, I recommend you get in touch.

On another note, Wyless is now a little more attractively positioned to be an acquisition target, possibly for an MNO that has pretensions at being a global M2M provider. 2014 is shaping up to be an interesting one for M&A.