The machine-to-machine (M2M) sector is in the midst of a significant transformation -- and not just in name.
As the M2M marketplace evolves into the broader and more comprehensive Internet of Things (IoT), and as applications become more exciting and more accessible to a far greater number of business enterprises, the underlying technology and network requirements become correspondingly more complex.
Industry pundits are now projecting that there will be tens of millions of connected devices by 2020; some are predicting as many as 50 billion globally. That rapid progression is already taking M2M beyond meter reading and vehicle tracking, and into the hands of any and all businesses with a need to connect more devices and transmit more information to other devices -- and, by extension, to more people.
To illustrate the spread and the significance of M2M's transition to IoT, just look at an industry as diverse as agriculture: In that sector, the use of M2M for everything from equipment tracking to environmental monitoring was once the exclusive domain of industrial farms with multiple locations. In the IoT era, network ubiquity, the proliferation of data and devices, and simplified application development make IoT services accessible and beneficial to all agricultural players, from the industrial behemoths all the way down to the small organic farmers.
All of this bodes well for mobile operators in terms of potential revenue enhancement -- and not just in providing the network connectivity required to transport these ever-expanding IoT solutions. Mobile operators have a real opportunity to provide platforms for application enablement, delivery and control to a broad range of businesses, helping them facilitate, customize, and manage the new IoT era.
The new Heavy Reading Insider, "IoT Platforms: A Heavy Reading Competitive Analysis," explores the strengths and challenges of several vendors that are attempting to help mobile operators make the transition from M2M pipe to IoT enabler. The companies profiled in the report range from the larger and more established to the just emerging, and the platforms they have created address everything from connectivity to device management to application creation and customization. The common challenge all of these vendors face is getting the attention of operators, and in many cases helping them forge an effective IoT strategy -- a challenge in and of itself for many mobile players.
The emergence of the Internet of Things creates valuable new opportunities for mobile network operators to extend beyond undifferentiated connectivity and into new lines of business and revenue. This report provides an in-depth look at the entities attempting to help those operators manage the transition and implement the platforms required to make that a reality.
— Jason Meyers, Utility Communications Editor, Light Reading
IoT Platforms: A Heavy Reading Competitive Analysis, a 17-page report, is available as part of an annual subscription (12 monthly issues) to Heavy Reading Insider, priced at $1,995. This report is available for $900. To subscribe, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/insider.