M2M could fail to live up to its billing as the next big thing unless someone takes initiative and stops the fragmentation that currently afflicts the industry.
That seemed to be the message coming out of M2M: Beyond Connectivity, a seminar organized by European Communications magazine in London last week, where analyst speakers presented a rather pessimistic assessment of the state of the market.
Nissan’s North American business has struck a deal with SiriusXM (New York, USA) under which the company known primarily as the world’s biggest radio broadcaster will supply a range of telematics services for Nissan-branded vehicles.
Nissan (Yokohama, Japan) claims it is the first carmaker to introduce some of the SiriusXM offerings, including 24/7 emergency support for accidents, stolen vehicle tracking and roadside assistance.
Customers are also set to benefit from the simplicity of a consolidated bill for audio entertainment and a central site to manage subscriptions.
Orange Business Services (Paris, France) has teamed up with telematics specialist Openmatics (Friedrichshafen, Germany) to provide M2M services that can be used on trucks and buses.
The France Telecom-owned company has signed what it calls a strategic partnership with Openmatics, which is in the process of developing its offer by adding more applications to its platform.
Itron (Liberty Lake, USA), a manufacturer of energy-saving meters for utilities, claims to have won a contract to provide smart meters in Melbourne and other parts of Victoria State, allowing water utilities to better manage consumption.
The deal will help City West Water, South East Water, Yarra Valley Water and Barwon Water manage supply, optimize usage and conserve water resources, and follows Itron’s completion of a three-year contract to provide water meters and an advanced meter reading system to the four utilities.
Nayax (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Telit (Rome, Italy) have announced a deal to expand their cashless payment services into hundreds of vending machines operated by Scandinavia’s Selecta Nordic (Stockholm, Sweden).
The company operates vending machines in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland and has already installed the Nayaxvend-Telit product in about 200 vending machines throughout Scandinavia.
It says additional machines are slated to be equipped in the coming months.
EBay Inc (San Jose, USA) Chief Executive John Donahoe often quotes a merchant saying NFC stands for "Not For Commerce" - and dismisses the prospects of Near Field Communication technology used to turn cellphones into mobile wallets.
He got some support this week from Apple Inc (Cupertino, USA), which did not embed NFC chips into the iPhone 5.
An M2M-enabled waste-management scheme involving Vodafone (Newbury, UK) is helping local councils in the Netherlands to slash their carbon emissions by up to a fifth and save thousands of euros in collection costs.
Working with Mic-O-Data (Hassinkweg, the Netherlands), a Dutch waste-management company that claims a 30% share of the market, Vodafone has fitted 6,000 ‘connected’ bins with SIM cards that transmit regular updates, notifying refuse collectors when bins are filling up or if they have not been properly closed.
Rogers Wireless (Toronto, Canada) has announced the opening of a new innovation center in Vancouver aimed at promoting the development of M2M technologies and applications.
Located in the Wavefront national center of excellence for wireless commercialization, the Rogers Wireless Innovation Center will allow business customers and developers to try out the latest M2M technology and enterprise mobility applications.
Tata Motors (Mumbai, India) has launched a new fleet telematics service it claims will help commercial vehicle fleet owners boost their productivity and profitability.
Branded Tata FleetMan, the service will initially be introduced on new tractor-trailers but is set to become available on Tata’s entire medium-sized and heavy commercial vehicle range in the coming months.
Tata says the service will be extended to existing vehicles through aftermarket fitments.
Isis, a venture of three big U.S. mobile providers, is delaying the launch of its mobile payments service for the second time this year, an executive for the company said on Thursday.
Isis is an effort by Verizon Wireless (New York, USA), AT&T Inc (Dallas, USA) and T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, USA) to provide mobile wallet services that would allow consumers to get rid of plastic cards and instead make payments by simply waving their phone at a check-out terminal.
While Japan has had mobile payment services for years, U.S. development of such services has been much slower.