Mobile devices such as the iPhone (News - Alert) and Android handsets steal the headlines, but the mobile device market is much larger than just the consumer side. It is larger than even the business side.
Don’t forget the machine-to-machine (M2M) part of the market. Aeris (News - Alert) Communications sure hasn’t; it is the only national cellular carrier focused exclusively on businesses that transmit real-time information to and from mobile devices as part of their core business, according to the company’s website.
“I think the biggest trend is that the machine-to-machine market is growing quite dramatically,” said Aeris Communications CTO Syed Zaeem Hosain during a recent interview with TMCnet. “The cell phone industry has saturated the number of handsets that are out there for consumers. The machine-to-machine environment is the next big thing that people are talking about.”
Historically, M2M technology has consisted of a sensor or meter that captures an event such as a temperature reading and relays it via the cellular network to an application that captures the event and responds accordingly. With advances in mobile technology, however, more and more devices and applications are leveraging M2M.
A eris recently partnered with Honda (News - Alert) on its electric vehicle telematics, for instance. The 2013 Honda Fit EV will include HondaLink EV, which allows customers the ability to remotely check vehicle state of battery charge, remotely start or stop charging when the vehicle is plugged in, as well as remotely pre-condition the cabin temperature before entering the vehicle. The ability to control aspects of the car using websites and smartphones is a key component of the Fit EV customer experience, according to an announcement about the partnership.
What Aeris specializes in is providing an M2M platform that provides data and voice connectivity, provisioning and activation, device management, real-time troubleshooting, alerts and alarms, billing and reporting, and account-level NOC (News - Alert) support to M2M customers. Customers use standard APIs and a web portal to connect with the Aeris platform and its M2M solutions, which in turn use its carrier partners for the actual cellular transmission.
Aeris works with more than 50 North American CDMA carriers and T-Mobile for GSM coverage, according to the company.
Industries that use M2M include those that rely on the smart grid, automotive telematics, medical devices or security, among others.
In addition to providing network connectivity to M2M clients through its AerFrame Network, Aeris also offers a range of professional services that leverage its expertise in the field. Its services include integrated design, end-to-end solution design, as well as end-to-end solution testing.
“M2M applications require vigorous testing to ensure reliability in remote and sometimes hostile environments,” according to the Aeris web site. “Aeris offers customers a controlled lab environment to measure and monitor end-to-end traffic flows.”
Testing includes device monitoring, data flow analysis, traffic flow analysis, meter rate measurement and mobile test driving, according to the company.
“The machine application is unique, and there are some issues and things you need to deal with to make it work well,” ” noted Hosain. “And that’s what we try to focus on.”
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli