M2M News: Accelerating Traction, App Development Tools, and Innovative Go-to-Market Strategies

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullet:

  • Current Analysis just completed its latest report updates on global M2M services offered by the largest Tier 1 U.S. and European operators.
  • Highlights include increased traction for ongoing initiatives, new application development platforms capabilities, and new end-to-end solutions.

AT&T had an installed base of over 18.5 million M2M connections in Q3. It is also seeing: 114% ARPU uplift from increased data demand; 49% more customers in 2014 than in 2013; and 763% higher data usage from new customers in 2013 and 2014 compared to prior years. AT&T has a number of productized M2M end-to-end solutions and is also investing in its application developer environment with build, deploy, and store utilities that leverage its M2Mx data service.

Deutsche Telekom launched a Device Cloud Platform for developers in 2014 that allows data storage and device management as a service and is an element of DT’s application development platform, which also includes software and firmware management. DT is also stepping up efforts in the consumer electronics space via an ‘idea contest’ using social media channels and innovation awards programs at a local university, (RWTH) Aachen.

Orange had 4.5 million+ active SIMs in service as of Q2 2014. Orange Business Services launched a new Applications for Business unit in 2014; it reinforces Orange capabilities in application development, integration services, customer experience, and data analytics and helps customers use collected data to aid in decision-making about their products and services.

Sprint has a plan (to be launched in Q1 2015) to globalize operations and enhance its service platform (adding more application enablement capabilities) to allow it to gain more global customers. With its commitment to maintaining a 2G network over the long term (beyond 2020), Sprint also expects to get some of the traffic given up by AT&T once AT&T disbands its 2G network in 2016. Sprint is looking to leverage its 2G network, especially within the transportation, energy, and security verticals.

Telefónica has an estimated base of 11 million active SIMs, distributed throughout Europe and Latin America. Telefónica extended its M2M Global Channel Partner Programme to Europe in 2014, which enhances its go-to-market efforts by allowing it to partner with a diverse set of resellers. It also launched the innovative Thinking Things offer, i.e., sets of modular devices with sensors, which connect to the cloud, enabling users to tap into multiple IoT use cases and develop solutions without programming.

Verizon is working on a set of end-to-end SLAs and plans to include VoLTE and FOTA capabilities with its M2M services in 2015. Verizon is also working on a PaaS approach to go downstream and court SMBs that lack development and IT budgets. This includes smart city and utility engagements for budget-strapped municipalities. The PaaS approach will also help it in the global market, as Verizon can offer its platform on top of local operator networks overseas.

Vodafone’s acquisition of Italian telematics company Cobra will provide additional capabilities with which Vodafone can capture value-added services from auto OEMs, after-market manufacturers, and UBI providers. Vodafone is already the European leader in M2M with a good foothold in telematics/connected car. Building an end-to-end solution will help it gain new customers and also gain revenues from Cobra’s platform, expertise, and established relationships.

Enterprises can get help from operators to deploy and monetize M2M solutions that offer both significant productivity enhancements as well as new service opportunities.

About Kitty Weldon
As Principal Analyst for Enterprise Mobility at Current Analysis, Kathryn is responsible for analyzing events, companies, products and technologies within the wireless and converged wireline/wireless enterprise services and solutions space.

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