Having signed up the humans cell phone carriers now see machine-to-machine communications as the next money-making frontier and are racing for positional advantage.
Vodafone has also started work on car-to-x communications, one of
the early ways in which M2M/IoT could manifest itself. Vodafone has won a
design-in with the e2o vehicle from Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles
Pvt. Ltd. (Bangalore, India), described as India's first connected car.
of the e2o can access a range of features and functions remotely by
using a smartphone app or dedicated web page. For example, they can
check their battery charge, remotely control air-conditioning, lock or
unlock doors and find the nearest charging station. The e2o also
automatically alerts its owner if the parking brake is off or a door is
Vodafone reckons it already has 9.7 million M2M
connections around the world, although I would class the car example as
human-machine-communications. Nonetheless it can be seen that once such
platforms become established and revenue begins to flow the extension to
M2M becomes easier.
U.S. telecommunications provider Sprint
Nextel Corp. (Overland Park, Kansas) is collaborating with u-blox AG
(Thalwil, Switzerland) to provide M2M services on 2G networks and
particularly to support the migration from GSM to CDMA. Sprint believes
M2M customers should be able to choose or combine 2G, 3G and 4G LTE
capabilities, depending on their particular requirements and Sprint
expects to maintain its 2G network capability for the long term as part
of an overall network strategy. “Now is the opportune time for any
customers migrating off GSM or designing new products for telematics,
telemetry, automotive, and security applications to take advantage of
Sprint's 2G platform," said Wayne Ward, vice president of the M2M Group
But what happens if tens of billions of machines
start trying to jabber on the cellular networks originally set up for
millions of humans?
I believe that some time before that point is
reached the cell phone service providers may have crafted separate
communications channels machines using the revenue from these early M2M
services to fund the development. That is the point at which cognitive
radio and dynamic spectrum allocation may start to make an impact.
Related links and articles:
DESIGN West panel scopes out future of IoT
M2M deal keeps tabs on cargo
Car of the future is M2M-ready
London Calling: Incoming CEO says Neul won't be like Icera
London Calling: Deutsche does M2M