Mobile World Congress kicked off today, already providing an abundance of news, announcements and innovations. The event is the world's largest exhibition and conference for the mobile industry, with an audience consisting of mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners. One trend in particular is already making headlines and fueling discussion in Barcelona: Machine to Machine (M2M).
Ovum (News - Alert) expects machine to machine solutions to be of big focus this week. M2M is the exchange of data between a remote machine and back-end IT infrastructure. There is significant growth in the adoption of M2M communications across many industries, as well as high demand for connected consumer electronics. According to a Current Analysis research report, forecasts for the revenue opportunity vary, but most operators and analysts expect that compound growth rates over the next five years will be in the 25 percent+ range, with estimates of the numbers of devices to be connected ranging from 200 million to 1 billion worldwide by the end of 2014.
To demonstrate the potential of M2M, the GSMA has partnered with mobile operators to construct a connected city, complete with a town hall, department store, café and more. Each area will be filled with new products and experiences showing how a more connected future – powered by mobile – will improve people’s daily lives across automotive, education, health, homes, retail and more.
Recapping today in M2M news at Mobile World Congress, Gemalto, a provider of digital security solutions, unveiled it is presenting its expanded portfolio of Cinterion M2M solutions. Delivering a unique combination of end-to-end technology, the comprehensive offering includes a range of advanced M2M wireless modules enabling reliable communications, ruggedized Machine Identification ModulesTM (MIMs) for secure connectivity to mobile networks, flexible subscription management services and an enhanced cloud-based platform for application enablement to connect assets and enterprises. Gemalto’s comprehensive M2M offerings transform machines and equipments into manageable assets, allowing companies worldwide to create new business opportunities while improving efficiency and productivity.
Aeris Communications launched AerPort 3.0, a portal that leverages patent-pending M2M crowdsourcing technology to give customers greater visibility and understanding into device performance, including the ability to easily troubleshoot issues in real-time via the cloud. AerPort 3.0 is a portal for managing and controlling cellular connected machines and devices.
The M2M multioperator alliance, comprised of seven mobile operators, added a new member this week: Etisalat, the Middle East's largest operator and the GCC's third-largest corporation. Etisalat is joining KPN, NTT DOCOMO, Rogers Communications, SingTel, Telefonica (News - Alert), Telstra, VimpelCom to eliminate complexity for multinational companies associated with worldwide deployments of connected devices. Throughout Mobile World Congress 2013, alliance members will be conducting live demonstrations showing the SIM management capabilities and Over-the-Air (OTA) subscription updates on connected tablets simulating the real consumer experience.
Oberthur Technologies, one of the world’s largest providers of security, identification solutions and services based on smart card technologies, is partnering with Telecom Italia in Italy to provide a state-of-the-art solution for operators to download subscription credentials to an embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC) within an M2M module. The partnership was founded on the selection of Oberthur Technologies to provide SIM cards to support the ambitious M2M expansion plans of Telecom Italia. The partnership is built on both companies’ commitment to and implication in “mAutomotive,” the GSMA Connected Living projects aimed at fostering growth of the global M2M ecosystem.
In other partnership news at MWC, Airbiquity, a provider of connected vehicle services, and China Unicom (News - Alert) of SHangai, are teaming up to provide telematics services for the Chinese automotive market, leveraging Airbiquity’s Choreo connected vehicle service delivery platform and China Unicom’s telecom infrastructure and service provider capabilities.
Telit Wireless (News - Alert) Solutions made two product announcements today – its expansion of mobile computing offerings in collaboration with Intel (News - Alert) and its expansion of its portfolio of modules with a new 4G LTE option based on Qualcomm Technologies’ Gobi MDM9215. By expanding the portfolio, Telit has prepared to address both the 3G and 4G market, offering a variety of options in various product tiers to address the needs of developers. As companies such as Telit continue to offer expanded M2M portfolios, developers will have more options going forward.
Shanghai SIMCom Wireless Solutions Limited, a supplier of wireless modules, launched its first compact LGA 2G module SIM900E today. The module's small size and LGA encapsulation suit M2M applications of all sizes. The SIM900E has an LGA encapsulation of 19.8*19.8*2.7mm, satisfying customers' requirements for compact design, and its LGA encapsulation is suitable for automatic assembly with SMT equipment.
SAP AG and Ericsson Corp. have joined forces to develop cloud-based machine-to-machine (M2M) products and services for large organizations. The M2M solutions produced by the partnership will be provided by operators to enterprise customers as a service, according to a joint statement released by the two companies today. The model envisioned by the partnership will allow businesses to connect their enterprise assets across multi-country operations with full integration to existing business processes, according to Hans Vestberg, president and CEO of Ericsson.
A lot of exciting announcements have already been made, and it’s only day one! Stay tuned for more news and coverage of Mobile World Congress this week.
Edited by Ashley Caputo