Analyst: operator M2M alliance could solve fragmentation in ecosystem

Analysts are bullish on the M2M alliance formed by seven global operators and believe it could eliminate fragmentation in the ecosystem.

Earlier this week KPN, NTT DoCoMo, Rogers, Singtel, Telefónica, Telstra and Vimpelcom created a global alliance to streamline the machine-to-machine market. Specifically, the operators plan to develop a global SIM and launch a single Web interface and a central management system for M2M devices that will be powered by Jasper Wireless. This alliance has been greeted with "cautious optimism" by Frost & Sullivan analyst, Yiru Zhong.

Roaming challenges are a big issue for telcos that want revenue by providing M2M connectivity. Yet, without AT&T's participation in the alliance, which is also a Jasper Wireless customer, the alliance leaves out roaming possibilities in the U.S. "The motivation behind this alliance is intriguing," Zhong said.

"A significant advantage of this partnership, however, is addressing roaming challenges, especially in M2M industries such as automotive and logistics applications," Zhong noted. "The partners will also benefit from scale arguments when negotiating M2M devices, modules, API standardisation and M2M platform roadmap development. Moreover, these M2M telcos will differentiate themselves from other M2M service providers."

This latest alliance follows similar deals between Vodafone and Verizon, and the M2M Service Alliance between Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, TeliaSonera, Everything Everywhere and Sprint. The deal will place pressure on other M2M connectivity platforms in the market.

Zhong claims that Ericsson's progress since it acquired Telenor Connexxion's M2M connectivity platform is relatively slow. "Success here can be magnified by having scale."

Timescales for M2M product developments and deployment have not been made public, but the alliance is open to other operators.

For more:
- see this Frost & Sullivan release
- see this Operator alliance release

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