M2M Operators Join Forces


M2M (machine-to-machine) solutions are increasingly being deployed on a global scale. Perhaps a tracking system is monitoring trucks as they transit through multiple countries, or maybe a connected health device must be able to seamlessly transmit data from anywhere in the world. Providers are attacking this issue from many angles, and network operators are looking for worldwide solutions.

For example, the market has seen companies like flaik, www.flaik.com, which provides location-based services for resorts and outdoor sports, looking to expand into more countries through the use of an international M2M platform.

And recently we heard about a partnership between Pacific Control Systems and Mobily aimed at offering energy-management solutions in Saudi Arabia.

Providers want their solution to work around the world. To this end, the announcement came yesterday that seven mobile operators have teamed up to offer a global M2M solution. The operators have formed an alliance they say is designed to “support a single, global platform that multinational businesses will leverage to enable connected devices in multiple countries.” The alliance will focus on enhancing the customer experience with a globally accepted solution.

The mobile operators involved are KPN, www.kpn.com, NTT Docomo, www.nttdocomo.com, Rogers Communications, www.rogers.com, SingTel, www.singtel.com, Telefónica, through its Telefónica Digital unit, www.telefonica.com, Telstra, www.telstra.com.au, and Vimpelcom, www.vimpelcom.com.

One of the alliance’s goals is to create efficiencies for manufacturers, partly through the use of a single SIM (subscriber identity module) that can be used with products globally. The alliance says this will eliminate roaming costs in the countries of participating operators.

Management of SIM status and the performance of M2M devices around the world will be centralized and managed from a Web interface using Jasper Wireless’, www.jasperwireless.com, Control Center.

Research suggests that added services related to the deployment and management of M2M devices are gaining ground. Numbers just announced by ABI Research, www.abiresearch.com, indicate CDPs (connected device platforms) that facilitate management of connected devices for M2M applications over cellular networks are growing. ABI says CDPs will be an expected market of $2.14 billion in 2017, are typically deployed by mobile network operators, and are often provided to M2M application deployers as a cloud service.

According to ABI, some of the larger network operators have built their own CDP, but the market trend is toward third-party solutions.

Making platforms available worldwide will continue to be a key factor in M2M implementations. As more solutions are deployed throughout multiple countries, the market will no doubt see more partnerships focused on making global deployment easier.


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June/July 2014
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