On Wednesday at CTIA Wireless in New Orleans, M2M Zone held a session to discuss global M2M deployments becoming a reality. Moderated by Robin Duke-Woolley, founder and CEO of Beecham Research , the four panelists discussed the challenges and solutions that accompany the deployment of M2M products on a global scale.
There are many challenges and issues when it comes to deploying M2M globally. Among the issues presented doing the session were: a lack of experience moving outside a home market; moving from a non-connected product to a connected product; finding partners in sectors such as hardware and software; distributing a product on a global level; maintaining control once a product is deployed globally; meeting regulations and standards for each market; and making partnerships on an international level.
This may seem like a long list of issues for companies to overcome, but like Jim Cairns, vice president of Business Development at Multi-Tech Systems , pointed out, even with the issues of global M2M deployment, the possibilities and opportunities are endless.
“As we wander through these complexities don’t forget about the benefits,” says Cairns.
Niclas Andersson, senior manager of International Sales Development, M2M Competence Center, Deutsche Telekom AG, presented his companies approach to global M2M deployment. According to Andersson, as an international carrier, Deutsche Telekom has an advantage of having a local carrier in 50 different countries. This makes it easier to set up roaming agreements between countries, as well as distribute and deploy products globally. Andersson did acknowledge that Deutsche Telekom still looks for partners in such areas as hardware, software , applications, vendors, modules etc.
But, unlike Deutsche Telekom who has local carriers in multiple markets, many companies will have to rely mainly on creating partnerships worldwide. According to Brian Murphy, head of M2M America's, Vodafone, Vodafone spent 24 years getting 405 carrier contracts in place around the globe. Vodafone also came up with a global SIM that allows a company to manage multiple services across multiple countries on a single platform.
Another topic presented during the panel was centered on a global standardization in the marketplace. As Duke-Woolley pointed out during the session, eight organizations are currently working on global M2M standards. When a person thinks of standardization they usually think of one universal standard, but with eight different projects going on it could seem to be counterproductive.
Although according to Duke-Woolley many potential standards is not a bad thing.
“Even if they are a lot of standards drawn up, it doesn’t mean they all are going to be used,” says Duke-Woolley.
Murphy agreed, stating that too many potential standards is not a bad thing considering M2M is still in the beginning stages.
“We are in the early days and this has been a fragmented market,” says Murphy. “The good thing is we are turning the corner now.”