Ericsson is providing its Device Connectivity Platform (DCP) to the Bridge Alliance of mobile operators in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa in order to manage wireless connectivity for various types of devices across the 36 countries covered by the alliance.
The Sweden-based vendor said the DCP will function as a single platform to manage connectivity as part of the "Internet of Things" strategy of the alliance--that is, where mobile communications and services are embedded within a device and sold as a bundled product.
The platform is designed to allow device manufacturers, enterprises or service providers to deploy such IoT services in multiple countries with greater economies of scale. The DCP includes a single global SIM card and what Ericsson describes as "harmonised" service levels and business processes.
Alessandro Adriani, CEO of Bridge Alliance, said: "The combination of Ericsson's technology leadership in IoT connectivity and Bridge Alliance's geographical coverage is an unmatched vehicle for any device original equipment manufacturer or enterprise looking to propel its business. Offering this unified experience requires more than just harmonising interfaces across mobile operators. We have done more with Ericsson, including standardising our footprint on a common core network. This will truly guarantee harmonised sets of features and service levels within the footprint to our customers."
The Bridge Alliance--originally the Bridge Mobile Alliance--was officially launched in Singapore in 2005 as a means for operators to support multi-national corporations (MNCs) beyond their own network footprints. Although most of the 36 operators are based in Asia-Pacific, the alliance now also includes Airtel Africa, Viva Kuwait, Viva Bahrain and STC in Saudi Arabia.
The alliance has already launched a major project in the field of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications: in January 2014, 11 operators in Asia-Pacific announced the Bridge M2M Alliance.
IDC recently predicted that the IoT market in the CEMA region (Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa) would exceed $50 billion (€44 billion) by 2018, with an installed base of about 2 billion autonomous devices or "things" connected to networks.
In a research report from July 2014, M2M and IoT research specialists Machina Research also noted that the improvement in functionality implicit in connecting consumer electronics devices, particularly of audio-visual devices such as internet-enabled TVs, would be the key driver to the adoption of M2M connections over the next 10 years.
- see this Ericsson release
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