Swisscom has become the latest major operator to join the Global M2M Association (GMA), which is now a cooperation of seven major international operators that are active in the machine-to-machine (M2M) market.
The existing members are Deutsche Telekom, Orange, TeliaSonera, Telecom Italia, Bell Canada and SoftBank.
Established in 2011, the GMA is designed to enable the member companies to offer services such as M2M roaming to businesses that would otherwise be more difficult on a global basis. It also supports interoperability through unified incident management processes, modules testing and certification procedures.
Furthermore, the association assumes responsibility for the harmonisation of markets and ensures compliance, which enables quicker and improved integration into customer machines and devices.
Gerhard Schedler, head of M2M and the IoT Centre of Competence at Swisscom, said the company was encouraged to join the GMA because it enabled more simplified processes.
"For instance, the status of connected products throughout the lifecycle -- from production, testing, shipping and distribution to the end-user will be automatically adapted and easily manageable," Schedler said.
Swisscom particularly highlighted the multi-domestic service operated by GMA members that it believes will open up new opportunities for large, globally operating M2M customers demanding high data volumes. The multi-domestic service is an M2M connectivity management service designed to help global enterprises capitalise on the growth of connected devices.
These M2M devices will be equipped with an embedded SIM card that functions like a local SIM card in the networks operated by the respective GMA members. This ensures that best network coverage is guaranteed, while reducing the complexity of the global connectivity management for customers.
Alexander Lautz, senior vice president M2M at Deutsche Telekom and one of the founding members of the GMA, noted that the addition of another tier-one operator "allows the GMA to further ensure that customers have the best footprint for a lean and effective interaction of global M2M services through integrated business processes and a single point of contact."
Recent research from Machina Research suggested that Vodafone -- which is not a member of the GMA -- is the leading M2M player globally when measured on its overall global strategy and not just M2M connections. In terms of raw connections, China Mobile is in the lead, reporting 42 million M2M connections at the end of 2014 and exceeding the 50 million mark early in 2015.
- see this GMA release
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