Unless the countries in Southeast Asia create a specific regulatory framework, machine-to-machine communication (M2M) will be unable to develop into a successful market, says management consulting firm Detecon International. More than any other factors, the high costs for switching providers and the expense of roaming - a consequence of a lack of specific M2M fees - are obstacles to M2M growth.
In its analysis of regulatory factors, Detecon International (Bonn, Germany) has also identified the provision of an adequate number pool for M2M applications and the establishment of suitable integration platforms as important prerequisites.
Whether Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, or Thailand - none of these countries currently have a regulatory framework specific for M2M in place, says Detecon International. However, Singapore and Malaysia, in contrast to Indonesia and Thailand, have developed bilateral M2M roaming regulations and launched various initiatives which, among other objectives, promote the technological infrastructure of M2M projects.
"Thailand and Indonesia should follow this example by offering manufacturers and users dedicated M2M rates as well. Otherwise, there is no option but to fall back on expensive international roaming fees," says Markus Steingröver, Managing Partner at Detecon International .
The allocation of additional 3G frequencies for M2M applications would be advisable for Thailand, according to the firm.
Detecon recommends the introduction of open mobile network codes (MNCs) as well, so that users would be able to switch M2M providers. In this type of system, users or intermediaries would have their own MNC so that the expense and effort of replacing SIM cards in the M2M devices would become unnecessary, says Detecon Interntional. Users and providers in this case would simply buy M2M network services on the wholesale market.