M2M Check-In: Are We There Yet?

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Operators are seeing average annual growth rates in M2M connections of about 20-30%, with new customers evenly distributed among diverse vertical solutions.  UBI and asset tracking solutions are gaining steam, with healthcare and energy management solutions also becoming a source of new ‘wins.’  Although automotive telematics wins are being announced, most of the actual connections associated with them are poised for growth in 2014/2015, when the auto OEMs launch their new ‘next-generation’ models.
  • IT service providers are playing both sides by partnering with and empowering operators to offer end-to-end solutions and going directly to enterprises through their vertical practice groups.  Automotive, utility/smart grid and smart-city deployments, which require multiple network technologies, complex integration and data analytics, are focus areas.

It is difficult to assess traction quantitatively in the M2M market since not all operators are citing numbers of connections these days (let alone revenues or numbers of customers), but Current Analysis estimates that, by the end of 2012, Telefonica had grown its M2M connections to 7.5 million, up from 6.6 million; AT&T had grown to 14.2 million, up from 13.2 million; Vodafone had grown to 9.7 million, up from 7 million; and Orange had grown to 3 million active SIMs, up from 2.5 million active SIMs, plus another 4.8 million SIMs sold by the International M2M Center (IMC) to MNCs, up from the 1.5 million SIMs sold by the IMC in 2011.  Verizon, Sprint and Deutsche Telekom have not reported their numbers for 2012.  In addition, of the 13 publicly announced new M2M ‘wins’ among these operators since January 2012, two were for UBI, two were in healthcare, three were for asset tracking, four were in automotive, one was in energy management and one was in industrial monitoring/control.  This is not a highly scientific ‘study,’ since many wins are not announced at all, but it does show general trends pertaining to growth of connections (which averaged 20-30% in 2012) and to the vertical distribution of current M2M deals.  In general, forecasts of the total number of cellular M2M connections worldwide for 2013 are in the 180-200 million range. Continue reading “M2M Check-In: Are We There Yet?”

What’s an SDN? Who Cares? The Question is, Does It Help?

Mike Fratto
Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • There isn’t any consensus on the definition of SDN, but in the many variations are value propositions that may be useful to you.
  • In the drive to define SDN, established and start-up networking vendors are developing products that can improve your network operations, and that is what is important.

Chalk it up to my extensive studies in philosophy, but I like definitions that are clear, concise, and differentiate one thing from another. At times I can be pedantic and get dragged down in details, but I’m also practical and I know that while theory can be fun and games, at some point, stuff has to get done. What was more important to me when I ran a small data center was getting things done. I didn’t really care about what I called whatever technology I was using. What I cared about, and what the IT professionals that I talk to care about, is how will this new technology make my job better, more efficient, less prone to error, or more cost effective. What matters is not the foundational ideas underpinning a new technology, but the practical applications. Continue reading “What’s an SDN? Who Cares? The Question is, Does It Help?”