Orange flags M2M partnership with Ericsson

Orange Business Services has become the latest customer of Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform (DCP) in a deal that should boost the operator’s prospects in the burgeoning global market for M2M services.

The operator – the enterprise arm of French telecoms incumbent Orange – says the agreement will allow its customers to deploy, manage and scale up M2M devices and applications that cater to multinational needs.

Customers will be able to use a service portal to manage and control their installed base of SIMs and monitor performance.

Orange Business Services has become the latest customer of Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform (DCP) in a deal that should boost the operator’s prospects in the burgeoning global market for M2M services.

The operator – the enterprise arm of French telecoms incumbent Orange – says the agreement will allow its customers to deploy, manage and scale up M2M devices and applications that cater to multinational needs.

Customers will be able to use a service portal to manage and control their installed base of SIMs and monitor performance.

The deal appears to complement Orange’s (Paris, France) efforts to advance its M2M ambitions through membership of the Global M2M Association (GMA), a collaboration between operators that also involves Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany), TeliaSonera (Stockholm, Sweden) and Telecom Italia (Milan, Italy).

Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) already provides DCP services to TeliaSonera and its new agreement with Orange suggests the vendor could eventually play a more prominent role within the GMA itself.

A rival organization including eight multinational operators has developed around a platform provided by Jasper Wireless (Mountain View, CA, USA), but Deutsche Telekom has been eager to present the GMA as an open alternative that will not become tied to any one particular technology.

Nevertheless, Steve Hilton, a principal analyst with market-research company Analysys Mason, has welcomed the new partnership between Orange and Ericsson, saying it will allow the operator to deploy “multi-domestic solutions … with heightened efficiency, making it easier for enterprises to deploy and manage solutions”.

“As operators remove barriers to deploying global solutions, it becomes more affordable for large enterprises and original equipment manufacturers to invest in connected devices,” said Hilton. “We expect this will lead to a new industry tipping point.”

Orange, which now employs 250 people dedicated to M2M, believes the tie-up will fuel its ambition of becoming a key player in M2M markets that include telehealth, smart metering and fleet management.

“This agreement with Ericsson is another step in our global approach to M2M offers and in building an ecosystem of selected partners to the benefit of our customers,” said Thierry Bonhomme, the chief executive of Orange Business Services.