Machine to Machine Today - Spring2 Innovation

Machine to Machine Today

October 30, 2013

M2M in CowsThe current state of the M2M (machine to machine) industry with cellular coverage was discussed at a recent event (Wavefront).  The M2M sector is rapidly growing and will be a $14.4 Trillion industry in the next 10 years. In 2012 there were 1.4 Billion connected devices and in 2020 there will be over 12 Billion connected devices. The key message from all of the presenters was that to be successful in M2M you need to understand a particular industry.

The industries that have been doing well with M2M cellular are those with high value assets since transmitting information over cellular networks is still relatively expensive.

Currently the key industries are:

  1. Manufacturing (Ability to fix problems before they happen)
  2. Energy (ie. Smart grid and energy conservation)
  3. Transportation (Vehicle telematics most mature in M2M)
  4. Health
  5. Marketing and Advertising

A lot of things have M2M that we aren’t aware of; from Coca Cola machines to cows. Coca Cola Freestyle machines hold as many flavours of Coke products you can image. These machines have sensors on everything from the ice to the syrups and when it is low on something the machines place automatic orders for more of the product.  Deutche Telekom, with Medria Technologies, has cows swallowing M2M devices which are then stored for the life of the cow in one of the four stomachs. Farmers are able to tell when calving time is a few days in advance by seeing the rise in temperature of their cows.

The Top M2M trends are:

  1. Partner ecosystems, strategic alliances, and acquisitions
  2. Increase focus on security
  3. Rise of platform
  4. Leveraging cloud (Iaas, SaaS, PaaS )
  5. Big data analytics and business intelligence

The top challenge for M2M with Cellular:

  • 2G sun-setting by carriers in the United States
  • Regulatory policies preventing entry of M2M solutions

Typically customers are looking for M2M solutions to last 20 years. However, wireless technology has been moving at a more rapid rate recently and that may mean some of the solutions created on 2G will not be working in a few years. Canada will likely continue 2G much longer but if you are looking to develop M2M solution for cellular networks consider moving straight to 4G.

The medical industry would benefit greatly from M2M solutions but restrictions on what the packages and package labels can contain make M2M difficult to bring in.

There is no doubt that M2M is on the rise. There is even a city in Germany, Friedrichshafen, which Deutche Telekom is still continuing to connect, after 6 years. How will your industry change with M2M?




Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (Paas), Software as a Service (Saas)




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