Frost & Sullivan’s Yiru Zhong, Senior Industry Analyst for ICT practice, Europe, expressed some doubts about the M2M alliance of seven operators announced this morning (10 July 2012).
KPN, NTT Docomo, Rogers, Singtel, Telefonica, Telstra & VIMPELCOM have formed a global alliance to develop M2M products aimed at multinational corporations. These operators are all customers of Jasper Wireless's M2M connectivity platform.
‘The alliance announced today benefits Jasper Wireless directly by potentially adding new customers on to their connectivity platform, while the seven partners will receive less concrete advantages. What is the reason behind these companies’ support for the market positioning of Jasper Wireless?’ asked Zhong.
‘A significant advantage of this partnership, however, is addressing roaming challenges, especially in M2M industries such as automotive and logistics applications (e.g. regional and international logistics track & trace applications. The partners will also benefit for scale arguments when negotiating M2M devices, modules, API standardisation and M2M platform roadmap development. Moreover, these M2M telcos will differentiate themselves from other M2M service providers.
‘I would be only cautiously optimistic about this alliance,’ continued Zhong. ‘It sounds like yet another partnership to defragment the ecosystem. However, overcoming roaming challenges are an immediate plus for M2M telcos focusing on M2M connectivity revenue. Yet, without AT&T’s participation in the alliance, which is also a Jasper Wireless customer, the alliance leaves out roaming possibilities in the United States. The motivation behind this alliance is intriguing.’
She added: ‘Incidentally, this alliance does put the pressure on the other M2M connectivity platform in the market. Ericsson’s progress with telcos since it acquired Telenor Connexxion’s connectivity platform is relatively slow. Success here can be magnified by having scale.
‘On the other hand, we still believe the money for M2M telcos are in enabling M2M applications and utilising the intelligence from M2M connectivity. This scenario has yet to bear out within the M2M telco community. Many M2M telcos are investigating ways to capture this revenue as a way to break out of the risk of M2M connectivity commodisation,’ she continued.
‘For example, Vodafone’s M2M proposition around industrial automation places it in a strong position for future industrial M2M applications. DTAG’s M2M aspirations also reflect a quiet push to capture a wider boundary of M2M revenues.
‘By using cloud as an enabling technology, DTAG lowers the barriers for small medium enterprises to participate in the benefits to M2M applications. Its recent announcement of an M2M Marketplace is another initiative to lower barriers to entry for M2M adoption and development by vendors, application developers and end users,’ concluded Zhong.