Vodafone Goes M2M

11:15 AM -- It looks as if Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has taken note of what its U.S. joint venture Verizon Wireless has been dabbling with in machine-to-machine (M2M) devices and taken it a step further. (See Verizon Wireless: Rise of the Machines.)

Vodafone has launched an M2M services platform to connect various electronic devices as it seeks to manage national and multinational M2M service deployments for corporate customers. (See Vodafone Targets M2M Services.)

The operator already has a 100-person team dedicated to the new service platform and will look into opportunities in areas like smart metering for utility companies and e-call for the auto industry, which is an alarm system for cars involved in accidents.

Operators already make some money from getting machines to communicate with each other. According to Berg Insight AB , operator revenues from M2M services were €3 billion (US$4.2 billion) in 2008.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is also getting in on the M2M action. The operator announced today the availability of a management platform with Jasper Wireless Inc. that will connect devices over AT&T's network, ranging from in-car navigation and e-readers to mobile Internet devices. (See AT&T Does M2M.) — Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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