Where it's based: New Hope, Penn.
When it was founded: 2014
Why it's Fierce: M2M Spectrum Networks is planning to launch a nationwide, purpose-built M2M network using licensed spectrum that will deliver the kind of network experience for M2M traffic that it thinks Tier 1 operators can't because of how "over-engineered" their networks are. While the technology behind the company's network remains something of a mystery, M2M Spectrum's network will run over "Part 90" spectrum, which is narrowband spectrum that exists below 1 GHz in multiple bands, including VHF, UHF and the 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands. Part 90 spectrum is designated for "private land mobile radio services" and public safety users are one of the primary users of the spectrum.
M2M Spectrum Networks is still refining its business model, but instead of charging per device per month, M2M Spectrum envisions getting a percentage of revenue or a percentage of the value of the application. The company will have APIs or open standards for vendors to put M2M applications onto its network. M2M Spectrum is looking at security, tracking and vending companies as prime candidates for customers.
What's next: The company has aggressive buildout goals for its nascent network. M2M Spectrum hopes to cover 194 cities by the end of this year, and then go on to cover 75 percent of the U.S. population by the end of 2015 and 95 percent by the end of 2016.
So far, the company has conducted trials of its network in Jacksonville, Fla., near where a few of its vendor partners are based. The 194-city goal is a "plant the flag strategy" to get the network up and running--then the goal is to fill in customers region by region. M2M Spectrum has also built a roster of partners, including TrueNet Communications to manage the build-out and tower company Crown Castle for tower leasing and full site development services.