KnowRoaming buys Telna for roaming IoT and M2M services

02 December 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


Canadian technology company KnowRoaming has bought US-based mobile network services company Telna after hiving off Telna’s voice termination business to G3 Telecom.

KnowRoaming’s delivery and management platforms, initially developed for roaming, will be combined with Telna’s global network to offer what the company says are powerful network as a service (NaaS) solutions for the internet of things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2) services, as well as other connectivity applications.

“With this transaction we are completely vertically integrated,” said Gregory Gundelfinger, CEO of Telna and KnowRoaming. “The combined business has the commercial agreements, network, management platforms and delivery mechanisms and uniquely positions us to provide customers with the most competitive end-to-end solutions for global mobile connectivity.”

Telna has 220 direct roaming agreements, now available to KnowRoaming, and claims “access to top-tier networks worldwide at the lowest wholesale prices”.

KnowRoaming, based in Toronto, has had a stake in Telna since 2014, at which time Telna had long-distance calling services as well as mobile network services.

“Due to the competitive nature of the voice termination business – falling long distance rates and the rise of VoIP apps like Skype, Viber – the company made a pivot and decided to focus on its mobile network services,” said Gundelfinger.

Telna sold its long-distance customer base to G3 Telecom and ensured continuity of service for those customers. “The long distance calling customer base made a small contribution to Telna’s value,” said Gundelfinger. “The core assets continue to be retained and expanded as a part of the mobile network services business that KnowRoaming has ownership of.”

KnowRoaming, which is privately owned by South African-born investor Nathan Kirsh, said by Forbes to be worth $4.1 billion, says that the combined business is using infrastructure built specifically to overcome high roaming charges to offer NaaS for any type of mobile connectivity, worldwide.

It will be offering a soft SIM platform, said to be a seamless, 100% software, device-integrated solution for global mobile connectivity.

“The merger of KnowRoaming’s technology and Telna’s network has enabled us to innovate freely in a way which was never possible before, by bringing hardware and networks together,” said Gundelfinger.