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Mobile network Three inks Cisco Jasper deal, eyes the IoT market

It's a connected land grab of things

Mobile operator Three has announced a deal with Cisco Jasper, the switchzilla's newly acquired IoT arm.

Three's mobile services division Hue will use Jasper's software as a foundation for enterprise customers wanting to offer IoT services of their own. From mid-2017 customers will be able to combine Cisco Jasper's Control Center IoT management platform with Three's mobile network.

Three said it wants to get into the connected car market, security and automation, transport and logistics, retail, infrastructure and energy sectors.

Operators are increasingly seeking to reinvent themselves in the IoT market, as mobile contract revenues remain flat. Three's owner, CK Hutchison, had previously hoped to bolster its position in the market by acquiring Telefonica's O2 last year. However, that was slapped down by the European regulator.

Martin Courtney, analyst at TechMarketView, said Three's move into the IoT services space could prove a welcome boost to it enterprise footprint.

"The majority of its revenue currently comes from consumers (with the first half of 2016 2 per cent to £1bn), a stagnation the MNO will be keen to address whilst simultaneously building recurring revenue streams less susceptible to churn."

However, Courtney noted that Three faces competition in the space, with Vodafone already moving into IoT capabilities beyond its established machine-to-machine communications business.

Cisco Jasper has been working O2 since 2010 and recently signed a deal with EE. Since its acquisition the company now works with 50 mobile operator service providers, an increase from 35 prior to 2016.

Jarrod Nink, chief exec of Three's mobile services division Hue, said: "This partnership will put Three at the heart of the global IoT marketplace and offers huge potential to our enterprise customers."

Jasper was acquired by the networking borg in 2016 for $1.4bn (£1.1bn). Cisco is also hoping to further boost its IoT offering with the acquisition of AppDynamic for $3.7bn (£2.9bn), a deal that is being finalised.

Speaking to The Register at Mobile World Congress, Macario Namie, head of IoT strategy of Cisco Jasper, said: "There is tremendous synergy on the ApDyamics IoT side." ®

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