u‑blox recently announced it has acquired IoT Communication‑as‑a-Service provider, Thingstream. Thingstream provides a comprehensive, end‑to‑end solution for global IoT connectivity using the industry standard MQTT protocol. The product is offered “as‑a-service” which provides predictable cost and on‑demand scalability for customers.

MQTT, short for message queuing telemetry transport, has become a widely used data transfer protocol in the Internet of Things, along with MQTT‑SN, which is tailored to the needs of sensor networks. Designed for constrained environments characterized by low power and bandwidth requirements, MQTT transmits messages from one device to one or many others via a broker. To achieve reliable machine to machine communication, users can set the quality of service to the specific requirements of their applications. Thingstream’s MQTT Anywhere service offers data transfer across 600+ telecom carriers in 190 countries without necessitating a cellular data plan by transmitting MQTT‑SN messages over 2G, 3G, LTE, and LTE‑M networks.

“The acquisition of Thingstream and its platform accelerates u‑blox’s entry into a new dimension of our services business, the IoT Sphere, which will provide customers with a reliable, smart and secure solution to connect sensor data to their cloud enterprise,” said Thomas Seiler, CEO of u‑blox. “Our customers can focus on scaling their business rather than the complexities of acquiring and establishing a connectivity platform and maintaining the data flow management. We thus continue our prudent investment strategy of quickly integrating small high‑tech companies with promising future value.”

Simplifying cost of ownership and management of an end‑to‑end solution that is reliable and secure is crucial for the success of any IoT solution. The integration of Thingstream and its platform will drive further momentum in u‑blox’s roadmap for delivering to customers the most robust service offering in the market, exemplified by improved functionality, secure connectivity and full lifetime support – in short, to make wireless communication and location easy.

The addition of Thingstream’s high‑performing team of 26 qualified staff will bring decades of experience in telecom services and IoT, augmenting u‑blox’s functional teams in R&D and sales and marketing.

u‑blox acquired the company for CHF 10 million, plus coverage for some deferred staff retention. The acquisition has been successfully closed.