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M2M Daily reviews the 2nd M2M World Congress in London

M2M Daily reviews the 2nd M2M World Congress in London

M2M Daily reviews the 2nd M2M World Congress in London

by DanielMay 10, 2012

M2MWorldCongressIcon1-230x155M2M World Congress Review Day 2| M2M Daily

M2M Daily headed down to the M2M World Congress last week in South Kensington London. In its second year, here is a review of Day 2, and the reasons we believe that next year’s event will be a key industry meeting in the calendar.

Arriving at the conference on day 2, as official media partner, the first thing that stands out is the key speakers at the event. All the big guns from the leading M2M organisations in Europe at least, and some from the far east are part of the panel discussions and ofcourse, giving us the insight into their M2M world.

Oliver Ritz from Alcatel – Lucent started the after lunch proceedings on Day 2.

Why M2M now?

–          Decrease in cost of devices.

–          Decrease in cost of connectivity.

–          Success of web services.

–          Another driver is that normal revenue streams are flattening out, so the role of the operator is changing as M2M is seen as a new revenue stream.


Why is M2M different?

M2M is all about the ecosystem. The market is very fragmented and strides are being made although the market still needs to open up. There is a need to provide a horizontal platform to access all verticals. The industry needs to be open to all types of business models. Moving forward a key area that needs to be grasped is the requirement of standardisation.


What segments are hot?

In-home services and building automation services.


What is Alcatel-Lucent doing in M2M?

Provide network gear. Our role is providing telcos flexible solutions for connectivity through its modules. We are also working on legacy solutions and migration between 2G, 3G and 4G.

We also provide M2M Management tools – telcos have a horizontal platform in terms of network that crosses all vertical sectors. Our role is to manage the device, manage connections and integration and orchestration layer. These are our value added services and where we see leverage in the market.

Cross channel customer experience is a value added service. Alcatel-Lucent have been in the market of managing devices and connectivity for a long time. We are very scalable and provide a range of services.



Samsuri Che-Embi, Director of M2M products at Maxis Communications Bhd delivered a presentation on the Asian Perspective: Maxim’s M2M Strategy. Here is a summary of the points covered:


–          Maxis decided to have their platform, due to cost, complexity and time constraints. BSN can remotely look at the device through GPRS.


–          Other platform offering is their Traffic Surveillance Management. Real time management system used to reduce pollution, control flow of traffic and improve economy.


–          Maxis is Malaysia’s premier integrated communications provider – involved heavily in asset tracking, billing and leverages its extensive coverage of the region.


–          Telemetry deployment. There is a very real issue in Malaysia with ‘stealing’ electricity. Their telemetry solution allows the utilities suppliers to monitor the usage and realise when incidents are occurring and are able to deal with these issues in real time.


–          Also monitoring water leakages using 2G SMS.


–          Public transportation; improve the taxi service in Malaysia through deployment of Taxi platform that provides better service for customer’s. MyTaxi.


–          There is big competition in deploying wireless ATMs. This helps financial services and banks are beginning to adopt wireless services and connectivity with more confidence. The Maxis platform has been chosen to deploy the service on a grander scale throughout Malaysia and possibly neighbouring countries.


–          Telemedicine is also a big market for Maxis and in Malaysia. The service saves money and more importantly is able to reach out to remote patients. There has also been an increase in M2M health solutions for the home from high end (net worth) patients.


–          Fraud is one of the biggest challenges facing Malaysia at the moment, in terms of electricity usage, as is with China. There is a great demand for Smart Metering from China also, as they face this same problem.


–          New opportunities in Malaysia include the ‘Mobile Workforce’ emerging trend by providing mobile connectivity to the workforce in remote and work areas.



–          Maxis partnered with Malaysian company called MyTaxi on a service deployment. Maxis built the ecosystem for the taxi driver. Customer’s were now able to ‘rate’ the taxi after use. The solution also provides a detailed GPRS system that enabled efficient communication between the call centre and taxi driver.


–          Maxis business model used to be to sell SIMs. Now it involves managing connectivity. Moving into being a platform innovator. Having the data and how to use it in real time is the key to bring about real added value. For example with the My Taxi solution, we can provide the latest weather news around your area etc.


–          Maxis strategy moving forward:


  • Build ecosystem of partners and developers.
  • Collaboration with device experts.
  • Keep innovating.
  • Continue and improve on delivering excellent customer support.


–          Challenges facing Operators:

  • Processes need to be looked at and maybe revised.
  • Network, OSS / BSS issues.
  • Regulation and Standards.


–          Opportunities in M2M:

  • Rising cost of labour.
  • Need for mobility.
  • Better coverage and traffic – a lot of time is being spent on the infrastructure alone.
  • Need for Cloud due to increasing data requirements.



Asset monitoring and tracking was covered by Darren Koenig, Vice President Product Development & Management at Numerex. Here’s a summary:

  • ‘People tend to overestimate progress in 2 years and underestimate what could happen in 10 years’ (Bill Gates). This is a philosophy that is at the forefront of Numerex vision.
  • Asset monitoring and tracking is a truly global business.
  • Numerex is over 20 years old and is focused on M2M. To date, they have over a million subscribers in many verticals. They were also the first to receive ISO standards in the industry.
  • Locating critical visibility – horizontal solution for example, large government agency that deploys trailers to relieve people in hurricane places. Assets used to get lost, now they have tracking device. Point specific solution.
  • Numerex supports M2M solutions across 50 verticals.
  • Technology exists to solve many problems, but it’s up to the developers and solution providers to get the message across to potential customers.
  • Another key is developing solutions or services that can cross the horizontal segments aswell as vertical.
  • Important to be able to provide a ROI and customising solutions.




Tom Gardner, Head of Wholesale at Three UK then provided an insight into the Unexplored Potential of M2M.


  • Since 2007 Three have witnessed an exponential growth. In 2007 the focus was on mobile broadband, dongles and mobile communication. This then moved onto smart phones and now the focus is on data.
  • One of the drivers is the use of mobile smart phones has trebled over the last few months, this trend is expected to continue to grow.
  • Three UK strategy is now Data. Data usage is going through the roof and Three’s leverage is the ability to manage the capacity required over other networks.
  • 3G SIM cards are gaining momentum. Used in CCTV, Transport with broadband connectivity, digital signage with the ability to upload and download new content are a few examples.
  • Also gaining momentum in Healthcare. These are all high usage markets. Again the main focus of Three’s strategy. Look for the high usage markets.
  • Value added services are the way forward. Understanding the customer needs is critical.
  • Three is focusing on new pricing models for data usage. For example, bulk data packages, minimum data packages. And are looking at providing more detailed packages in terms of on and off peak data usage.





Shaym Madrikar, CTO at Lebara Mobile discussed How M2M will take Mobile Money to the Next Level.


–          Currently five and a half billion mobile phones. By 2025 forecasts across the spectrum suggest there will be a trillion mobile devices and connections. However, Shaym believes this is slightly over optimistic and a more realistic figure is 40 to 50 million devices will be connected.


–          Its projected that there will be 8 billion people in 2025. Question is how and why can this be achieved. Main driving forces are an exponential increase in computer power. A decrease in the technology makes it more affordable and easier for device connectivity.


–          In banking, Shaym believes there will be a drive towards remote banking as people can’t reach a physical location of a bank due to logistics but there is a necessity to bank.


–          Mobile or M2M banking is only 30% of current banking market as majority in western markets.


–          Customer’s are also driving the change wanting ‘anytime, anywhere banking’.


–          With competition in the banking industry, the banks have no option but to deliver as customer’s now hold the power.


–          This again refers to built in added value. Banks need to drive usage whilst maintaining profit margins.


–          No other alternative than to take on M2M as other methods are not providing enough profit margins.


–          Classic model is that your device is your bank. Making it more accessible and more user friendly.


–          Digital shopping is the same phenomenon. Internet shopping drives and highlights the potential this market has.


–          If you are a connected customer, you will consume money from your pocket. This is a global phenomenon. A third of payment transactions are happening via mobile. The service allows your consumption private and personal therefore increases level of consumption. Mobile payment is future as its only being using by 30% of banking consumers and mobiles.


–          The ubiquity is the only selling point in M2M. There are no time constraints. No geographical constraints. These are the only drivers at the moment.


–          There are many directions that MBanking can evolve.


–          The major concern is security of the data on three levels, applications, system layer, transaction security.


–          Creating regulatory compliant application is difficult. The biggest complication is the number of players involved. Each player comes with own competence, ideology and philosophy. Having so many players can cause problems.


–          From a Telco perspective the challenges are technology, culture and control. Technology as the periphery is evolving faster than the core.


–          For the future Shaym suggests that technology will experience faster and denser growth.


–          Service providers will aggregate and simplify. This will lead to business models shifting towards ‘coopetition’.




The event was concluded with a Panel discussion on the future of M2M. Moderated by Darren Koenig (VP Product Development & Management at Numerex) the panel included Samsuri Che-Embi, Shaym Madrikar and Tom Gardner.


To start the discussion, Darren Koenig brought forward the topic of discussion. This centred on the following:


–          Markets in developing countries vs developed countries seem to be growing symmetrically.

–          North America is the fastest growing market, however Europe is the biggest with China on the brink of taking over.

–          Telematics is going to account for 50% of the growth.

–          Clear top tier of operator alliances will emerge.

–          Satellite operators and system integrator community will join global alliances.

–          Android @Home products will hit the market (for example the Google Car)

–          2G will become accepted as a long term technology option.


Panel Discussion:

Q: What do you think about 2G?

Three UK:  Big advocates of 2G. 2G will stick around however so many more advantages of using 3G. Utilities and such should future proof. Unless the technology isn’t available, its better practice to use 3G as a legacy principle.


Lebara: One of the biggest dilemmas to sell on 4G was real time HD TV streaming. We have all used 2G in the past, question is do we need to use something more than 2G? Shaym goes on to say the answer is to make a decision on a business to business case and see what applies.


Maxis:  2G will be around for sure. We believe it will be there for another 10 years or so.


Numerex: Maybe 3G isn’t even needed and we can go from 2G to 4G.




Question: What’s the biggest factor in M2M adoption. Is it technology, price or awareness?

Lebara: Technology and price are good. The awareness is needed.

Three UK: Awareness could be easily addressed.

Maxis: Pricing is the issue in Malaysia




Question: When it comes to M2M, for MVNO’s and MNO’s, will it be more successful in developing in house or using partner business models?

Lebara:  it’s complicated and would be structured towards verticals. A simple example is how within the banking industry, a large banks will not be comfortable with anybody coming in with a service. Looking at verticals, regulation may be a driver. For example the health vertical may only be open to the large telcos.

Three UK: We can look at Apple’s example. You wouldn’t expect Apple to come up with a mobile that would be so effective. There is a great deal of value of network operators partnering with major device manufacturers, for example Dell supplying SIM built-in laptops.

Numerex: Telcos will be front facing to top accounts worth tens of millions of dollars. Partners will bring in the solution. However it all depends on the vertical.


Question: Biggest predictions for 2012 – 2013.

Lebara: Few industries, Health and Banking will pick up in awareness. Others will take more time to market and adoption.

Three UK: There will be a shift towards M2M MVNOs.


Question: Can a start up 4G come in and eat up the big players.

Three UK: Someone could come in. But it’s a huge investment in the bidding process alone.

About The Author
I’m an high tech enthusiastic. I love technology and how it makes our lives exciting. I’m always fascinated to see when technology exceeds our imagination and never stop to evolve. M2M (or Machine to Machine as some people call it) is where I believe the future lies. In the last decade alone the utilization of technology allowing machines to talk to each other become somewhat a phenomena which now days integrates to almost every aspect of our lives (in some cases without even know it). Here at the M2M Daily, we try to keep you up to date with everything M2M – Enjoy!