Vodafone hangs on to the number-one spot in Machina Research’s latest ranking of communications service providers (CSPs) addressing the M2M opportunity.
The market-research company judged Vodafone (Newbury, UK) to be the CSP “best placed to take advantage of the global M2M opportunity” for the second year running.
“Vodafone has been very active this year, with lots of exciting new M2M developments, and thoroughly deserves to retain top spot,” said Matt Hatton, the study’s author.
“The company has focused on adding value through a diverse set of product offerings and pursuing new approaches to reduce the cost and complexity of M2M offers,” he adds. “Furthermore, structurally Vodafone is now better placed to address M2M courtesy of its C&W Worldwide acquisition and an elevated position for M2M within the new Vodafone Enterprise Division.”
Machina Research’s study compared CSPs across six key areas – pedigree, platform, place, partnerships, process and people – and identified a ‘top tier’ of four CSPs it says are establishing themselves as global leaders.
Besides Vodafone, those companies include AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA), Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) and Telefonica (Madrid, Spain).
Hatton lauds efforts by Deutsche Telekom to resolve its strategic approach to the US market and build a global alliance in the form of the Global M2M Association (GMA), and says that both AT&T and Telefonica have also strengthened their global credentials through networks of operator partnerships.
Notably, Telefonica has assumed something of a leadership position in the M2M alliance with KPN (The Hague, Netherlands), NTT DoCoMo (Tokyo, Japan), Rogers Communications (Toronto, Canada), SingTel (Singapore), Telstra (Melbourne, Australia), VimpelCom (Amsterdam, Netherlands) and platform provider Jasper Wireless (Mountain View, CA, USA).
Machina Research says that other CSPs will have to adopt appropriate strategies to compete with these leading players – “go vertical, go local or go home”.
“There is only room for a handful of broad-based global M2M CSPs,” says Hatton. “CSPs that cannot achieve scale will best address M2M by providing either highly specialized expertise in particular areas, or by focusing on their local territories where they have specific differentiators.”
Machina Research believes that in many cases these specialists may represent a better choice for procurers of M2M services than the global CSPs.
Besides the four leading operators, the company examined the M2M strategies being pursued by Orange (Paris, France), Telekom Austria (Vienna, Austria), Telenor (Fornebu, Norway), TeliaSonera (Stockholm, Sweden) and Verizon (New York City, NY, USA).