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14 July 2016
The greatest challenge for Richard Grohol, chief operating officer of Globetouch, is spreading the word of Globetouch in an already crowded and convoluted connectivity market.
"Getting our message clearly into the market is one of my
challenges, as well as the constant pace of development in the
space," says Grohol, who joined Globetouch in 2014 from
software and services company Lumata, where he was CCO.
Prior to that, he served in the same role at Mach, a
provider of mobile services. Grohol sees Globetouch, a
"provider of connectivity services for business globally", as a
global MVNO. "We provide connectivity in all parts of the world
through our cloud-based global ecosystem," he says.
Some of Globetouch’s customers include mobile
operators, M2M service providers, device car manufacturers and
distributors providing end-to-end services for their own
Globetouch’s CloudSIM technology claims to
remove barriers to global connectivity by creating an ecosystem
of network operators with local rates and device
Globetouch solves two fundamental challenges, according to
Grohol. One is the underlying wholesale cost associated with
traditional roaming. As consumers and enterprises go from point
A to point B, there is often a huge cost associated with
traditional roaming. Globetouch tackles that by changing the
identity of the device so it has a local profile, which in turn
lowers the underlying cost and connectivity in that
The second challenge it addresses concerns device
manufacturers through which they have the ability to provide
local connectivity through the cloud ecosystem of Globetouch.
An example can be when a large manufacturer ships a car for
sale in Brazil. Once the customer signs the paperwork at the
dealership, the car is then fired up with a local identity from
a local operator in Brazil. "That solves a cost issue as well
as a supply-chain issue for the manufacturer. They can deal and
ship anywhere in the world without having to enter into
separate contracts with connectivity providers in different
jurisdictions," says Grohol.
In June, Globetouch acquired additional funding from
existing shareholders – such as CK Hutchison and
Digicel – as well as new investors, NTT DoCoMo, 263
China and Qihoo 360 Technology. The funds will go towards the
company’s continued expansion into new markets and
Grohol says investors find Globetouch attractive as it
provides them with the ability to operate in other
jurisdictions "so they can claim to have a truly global
footprint", he says: "Essentially they become a reseller of our