Unravelling the world of M2M connectivity

Jon-Paul Clarke, Business Development Director, Wireless Logic explains that the monetisation of M2M/IoT connectivity shows exceptional potential… in the right hands.

Whilst the global technology sector fuels the frenzy which is the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), behind the hype, mind-bending forecasts, and the fact that this truly is the next industrial revolution, there’s still a job to do in relation to the Machine 2 Machine (M2M) connectivity, or as we often refer to it… the IoT ‘plumbing’. For comms dealers/resellers, there is a huge opportunity for commercial growth as businesses consider the growing number of applications that lend themselves to automation – for industrial, consumer and enterprise.

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For any application, a business will need to consider a series of critical factors when deploying a communication platform for M2M/IoT. These include: – Type of connectivity eg. Wireless, Cellular, Zigbee; Size of data to be transmitted; Associated costs; and Security and Reliability – what impact will any breach of the platform have on the overall operation? By addressing each of these points in depth, connectivity solution providers can present suitable platforms that will deliver communications tailored and fit for purpose.

Focusing on cellular, the unravelling process continues… one or multiple mobile networks, stationary or mobile application, local or global SIM connectivity, speed requirement, public or private Fixed IP, and the need or not for a virtual private network (VPN)? What this highlights is that to scope a connectivity platform correctly, due diligence is required to create an optimal technology infrastructure.

Process identified, the economics then comes into play… the cost of sending/receiving data, the ability to avoid shocking and unforeseen bills – (yes, billshock can be as prevalent within M2M connectivity as it does in the voice world), and the consideration to the possible Capital Expenditure costs when implementing secure two-way communication with VPNs.

My intention is not to scare prospective providers of cellular M2M connectivity. But it is to accentuate the realisation that our world demands guidance to help customers navigate the many pitfalls that can be encountered. And from here, it is who to turn to next? Working with MNOs or Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to fulfil your customers’ needs? Of course, my role is to push the route of MSPs as they bring a more flexible, agnostic approach to cellular platforms. MSPs will respond quickly, are undoubtedly more agile in formulating suitable packages, and have the ability to layer on Value Added Solutions which MNOs may struggle to deliver within limited time frames. But perhaps above all, you should view MSPs as allies in your quest to open new connectivity doors. Whether it’s through revenue share or simply the confidence of having a team of specialists that can support your sales proposition, there is a vital role for providers such as Wireless Logic to partner dealers/resellers. For us, 1.7 million connected SIM-enabled devices across both the UK and throughout Europe is evidence of the influence an MSP can have in this growing and demanding sector.
So, the sector awaits. Approach with care. And enjoy the huge potential with the right support on your side.