As the world of M2M descends upon the ‘Big Easy’ this week for the annual CTIA show, I cannot help but think back to last year’s show and all the hoopla surrounding the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T. The news broke on the eve before the show (which was in March, not May), and on the show floor it was all that everyone was talking about—despite the fact no one was “talking.”
I take that back, one man was talking: John Horn. At the time Horn was still heading up the M2M business for T-Mobile so of course he was the man everyone wanted an opinion from on the proposed acquisition. This is a man that built up T-Mobile’s M2M business to a point that it was a major contender on the B2B side when it came to machine-to-machine connections. A carrier that many regarded as being a distant number-four among the U.S. majors, was actually fact a force in the world of M2M. This, alongside the spectrum appeal, was no doubt an attractive piece for AT&T to look to acquire at the time.
Of course we all know how this all played out since. But at the time Horn was steadfast in his comments to Peggy and I at the time that it was status quo for he and his team at T-Mobile, continuing to deliver on his mantra of “easiest to do business with.” It was there that he first unveiled the idea of the multi-mode international subscriber identity with the company Everything Everywhere.
I bring that up because today’s announcement from RACO Wireless in association with OnAsset Intelligence sort of brings the conversation we had with John that last March day full circle. Now the man in charge of taking the M2M world by storm is with RACO Wireless and is announcing the successful deployment of RACO’s multi-mode international subscriber identity, developed in conjunction with mobile security solution provider Giesecke & Devrient, Everything Everywhere Ltd., and of course T-Mobile. In a prebriefing about the news to Connected World last week on the news, Horn boastfully made the announcement, while hinting that the best is still yet to come.
In a way, that is just the way Horn does business: with confidence. Whether it’s T-Mobile or the work he is doing to secure RACO’s place on the M2M map, you have to respect a man that has a plan and knows how to execute it well.
You cannot ignore the momentum he and his team have given to RACO since they came aboard last spring. So much so that T-Mobile comes right out and calls RACO its “preferred partner.”
To me it seems as if the competition is trying to play catch-up to what Horn and his team are doing in the market. Take for example the news of Wyless acquiring a majority stake in ClearConnex. The news was “official” last week, but it was leaked to another news outlet a few days prior. Perhaps trying to create some buzz in an attempt to keep up with the intense M2M competition that Horn and Co., has created? Or was it just leaked too soon? Maybe?
In any case, this market is never without its drama. Just like with the big announcement prior to the 2011 show. So now I have to wonder how we will view the big buzz of this year’s show in New Orleans a year from now. It’s anyone’s guess, but I can say with certainty that the real newsmakers in M2M will continue to deliver year-after-year—above the noise, if you will.