Sprint expands M2M partner ecosystem

Sprint announced Monday at CTIA in Orlando, Florida, expanded M2M solutions provided by 14 Sprint partners. These partner offerings bring additional specialized capabilities to Sprint’s broad-based M2M portfolio, including the fast-growing segments of connected transportation, fixed and portable solutions, SmartGrid and utilities, and health care.

Sprint also has launched a Collaboration Center in Burlingame, California, to "create a space for the M2M industry," according to Geoff Martin, Manager of Platforms and the Collaboration Center for the Emerging Solutions Group or M2M Business Unit. "We're very excited about the collaboration center," Martin said. "We realized as a carrier we're really good at a lot of things... but we're not all things to all people. So we've created an ecosystem -- or village, if you will -- of partners who fill all the gaps."

M2M solutions wirelessly connect a rapidly proliferating variety of electronic devices to enable increased operational efficiencies for business, as well as innovative new consumer and commercial services. Those devices are as varied as digital billboards, medical equipment, cameras, video surveillance and security solutions, remote sensors, utility meters, appliances and routers.

Enabled by Sprint’s dependable network assets, M2M connectivity is taking companies beyond traditional “business-to-business” and “business-to- consumer” categories into a world of burgeoning “business-to-business-to-consumer” models. As a result, innovative companies across many industry sectors are using M2M solutions from Sprint and its partners to spearhead advances that simultaneously benefit both their businesses and customers. For example, health care professionals use M2M to share medical images and monitor vital signs remotely, which gives their patients faster, more effective care. Trucking companies use M2M to track their fleets more efficiently, which helps ensure on-time deliveries for end customers. Utilities use M2M to manage utility grids, which can help residents consume energy more wisely and cost-effectively. Many kinds of companies use M2M to improve driver performance, which helps reduce accidents and make highways safer for all drivers. And M2M applications often contribute to a greener planet for everyone by reducing emissions and carbon footprints.

These and many other applications are fueling exponential M2M growth, with research firm Analysis Mason projecting the number of M2M devices to increase from 62 million worldwide in 2010 to 2.1 billion in 2020.

“M2M is already demonstrating potent, transformative value for businesses across many industry sectors,” said Danny Bowman, president-Sprint Integrated Solutions Group. “Sprint uses its unique combination of network assets to help companies of all sizes seize on M2M opportunities. Through our Open-Network-Execution approach, we can serve customers as their primary M2M partner. Our value proposition is built on streamlining the process of deploying M2M solutions, while enabling customers to tap into our extensive M2M ecosystem, where they can choose from a broad selection of applications and expertise to support their specific objectives.”

To accommodate the needs of the great majority of its M2M customers, Sprint has built its M2M solutions around five segments, which currently reflect the most rapidly growing areas of M2M growth: connected transportation (including connected vehicles, fleet management and Usage-Based Insurance); fixed and portable solutions (including ATM/POS, digital signage, video surveillance and consumer electronics); SmartGrid and utilities (including charging stations for electric vehicles and smart meters); health care (including remote patient monitoring and e-visits); and education (including mobile learning and e-readers).

Martin declined to comment on this week's news of AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile.

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