Regulation large obstacle in asset tracking

On Tuesday at CeBIT in Hannover, Germany, the M2M Zone got a chance to speak with David Wigglesworth, vice president of data services at Iridum, on topics surrounding machine-to-machine (M2M) technology in satellite communication.  One major sector of M2M that Iridium is involved in is asset tracking, and according to Wigglesworth, the largest obstacle facing asset tracking today is regulation.



On Tuesday at CeBIT in Hannover, Germany, the M2M Zone got a chance to speak with David Wigglesworth, vice president of data services at Iridum, on topics surrounding machine-to-machine (M2M) technology in satellite communication.  One major sector of M2M that Iridium is involved in is asset tracking, and according to Wigglesworth, the largest obstacle facing asset tracking today is regulation.


There are currently no common standards governing asset tracking, which makes the process of getting regulatory approval in different countries a long and sometimes tedious task.


For example, if Iridium (McLean, Va., USA) wanted to place one of its transceivers in another company’s application in the U.S., if would first have to get the transceiver certified by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Once the FCC certified the transceiver it would then be placed in another company’s application, which that company would have to have certified by the FCC.  This is only a U.S. example, while other countries have different standard bodies and regulation requirements that are not universally accepted across the globe.


According to Wigglesworth, there needs to be a common standard that simplifies certification of hardware and products in order for asset tracking to be more easily deployed. The European Union helps because a common standard stretches across the EU countries, says Wigglesworth.


Despite the regulation burden on the asset tracking industry, Wigglesworth did say that the sectors with the greatest potential in the future include the heavy equipment and transportation businesses. 


Iridium has also begun to license out its technology instead of strictly selling it.  The company recently signed a licensing deal with Quake Global (San Diego, Caliif., USA).  According to Wigglesworth Iridium is not looking to license out their products to all their partners, but the right ones.


“The M2M world for satellite is quite large,” says Wigglesworth. “We will see a lot more growth of out it in the future.”