Kathiravan Kandasamy, Syniverse: Private networks and connectivity

Fin is a former junior editor at TechForge.

“The networking infrastructure company for networking infrastructure companies.”

This is how senior product management director at Syniverse Kathiravan Kandasamy described the company in an interview with IoT News.

Syniverse Logo

Syniverse is a global telecommunications company that provides networking and business services for a host of multinational enterprises.

In recent years, the company has expanded its offering into the IoT space, providing a variety of different connectivity solutions depending on how the enterprises it works with are utilising IoT devices.

Kandasamy joined IoT News to share his insights into security issues within the IoT space, as well as his thoughts on the trends and challenges facing the industry today.

IoT News: How has Syniverse been adapting as the COVID-19 pandemic begins to wane?

Kathiravan Kandasamy: One of the key things that we have been doing recently is moving into the space of enabling private networks. We are positioning ourselves to become a private network enabler.

Because US legislation recently freed up CBRS frequencies for enterprise usage, companies no longer need to actually own spectrum, meaning we have a lot of large enterprises trying to transition from a Wi-Fi deployment to a private network deployment.

IN: As such a large company, what advice can you give to SMEs operating in the IoT space?

KK: A lot of companies… they buy, build, and partner, right? What I would recommend for small IoT companies is to go for partners who are single neck to choke. If you want to create solutions yourself you need to find a radio provider, someone who can provide the  coverage, and then you need to consider who does the services? For most companies, it’s much easier and cheaper going into a hosted deployment model than having to invest in your own infrastructure and resources.

This is especially true in IoT today, where scalability can vary drastically and companies don’t know if they will have 10 devices or 10,000 devices a few years down the line. In these scenarios, I believe, a guarded approach through a multi-tenant service provider is key.

IN: Aside from advice, what trends is Syniverse noticing in the IoT industry?

KK: Right now, we’re seeing strong interest in mobility. A lot of enterprises are asking us how they can latch onto or roam into a macro network once they leave the coverage of their private network, essentially creating a hybrid private network.

IN: Looking ahead towards the coming five years, what key challenges will IoT have to overcome?

KK: As we start to come out of the Covid pandemic, IoT deployment is on the upswing and companies are looking for who is the right person to partner with. This is because the IoT ecosystem is too large for any one organisation to solve. If you take a large cloud services provider for example, they often only offer applications. They tend to stay away from direct mobile connectivity offerings or providing devices.  Instead, they have to partner with someone for these service elements. Because of this, companies are being very careful regarding who to partner with.  The last two years of partnerships have been what I call ‘plain vanilla’. No one is taking any risks or partnering with companies to do anything majorly different.

Major service providers’ recent partnerships have all been fairly similar – they source a company to provide a fixed connectivity from Point A to Point B. Companies need to look for a partner who can give them complete global reach if they wish to outshine their competition. As many IoT use cases require strong mobility, global companies need macro network access across countries – a container can be in China today, Mongolia in two weeks, and Sri Lanka the following month, right?

IN: Mobility is certainly shaping up to be a key issue for companies expanding into IoT. Having said this, you’ll be speaking more on privacy and security during IoT TechEx Global on 7 September. Could you expand on what you plan to discuss?

KK: Sure. So as I said a lot of companies are now really looking to deploy private networks. They understand it is a new technology and can articulate the difference between Wi-Fi and private networks. However, some still struggle to understand the difference in scale brought by each solution. I’ll be talking through what security configurations are needed when deploying a private network specifically for IoT usage. I’ll mainly be looking at using radio deployments and the right types of strategy and options available in this space, especially for securing communication end-to-end from device to application.

Want to find out more from executives and thought leaders in this space? Find out more about the Digital Twin World event, taking place on 9 November 2021, which will explore augmenting business outcomes in more depth and the industries that will benefit.

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