Anyone who commutes to and from work by bus knows that it is not always the most exciting part of the day. But what if the bus were connected to a high-speed mobile broadband network that not only facilitated access for your devices, but also provided up-to-the-second information on a range of related services? What if you lived in Curitiba in southern Brazil? In Curitiba, it’s already possible.
New revenue opportunities are emerging for mobile operators through the delivery of machine-to-machine (M2M) and consumer-device connectivity services, which add value for enterprises and consumers. Maximizing revenues in this area demands a cost-efficient, flexible approach that enables a high degree of differentiation and customization.
Within weeks of its launch, thousands of refugees in Uganda and Kenya have signed up to Refugees United's mobile phone text messaging (SMS) application, aimed at reconnecting them with loved ones. The UNHCR predicts that more than 3 million people in East Africa could benefit in the coming years.
We can connect everything – but that's the easy part. The question is why, and in this issue we give you some answers. It is hard to define or gauge the nascent market for machine connectivity, since the only common ground seems to be that it will be very, very big. But acknowledging that fact is a good start. This issue also covers a shrinking business. Newspapers, magazines, radio and television have all experienced demoralizing declines in revenue. Once dominant industries have little choice but to find new ways to interact with their customers. And their losses are in fact the fertile soil from which digital and networked media will grow new revenues in the future.
The vision is clear; network-connected machines will improve our lives in numerous ways. So what's the problem then? Put simply, most network operators are not geared to handle this radically different line of business. But they could be, and there are very good reasons for them to get into the race.
The Internet of Things has been officially dubbed one of China's strategic emerging industries. Talking to analyst Flora Wu and engineer Yu Xiaohui, it's clear that China sees immense opportunity in the machine-to-machine market and aims to take a leading role in it.
Norwegian incumbent Telenor is an M2M pioneer having installed close to two million M2M SIM cards, with their numbers doubling each year since 2004. Here, they explain why
connecting machines is fundamentally different from what telecom operators traditionally do.
The evolution of an M2M industry ecosystem is closely linked to the role of the network operator. A closer look at the knowledge necessary to develop that ecosystem gives an indication of what future M2M platforms might look like.
Recent major global events have required some of the highest capacity demands in the history of the mobile phone. Operators were already aware that anywhere, anytime coverage is the highest priority for mobile users. But, the message was really brought home during the Expo 2010 Shanghai China (World Expo) and the global celebration of football in South Africa that saw Spain being crowned world champions.