Sprint inks M2M partnership with DataSmart

Sprint Nextel said it signed a multi-year deal with wireless data service provider M2M DataSmart to help get more machine-to-machine devices running on its network. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Under the agreement, M2M DataSmart will help add M2M devices onto Sprint's network by providing test accounts and assisting with certification and engineering applications. Further, the two companies will provide developer kits and developer test accounts for end-to-end provisioning and activation.

Craig Creason, Sprint's manager of business development for wholesale wireless data solutions, told FierceWireless that the deal had been gestating for a for some time and that DataSmart had brought the concept of a partnership to Sprint. He said the partnership would help get more M2M devices onto Sprint's network by giving device and solutions providers a set of tools that they may not have. 

"What this new partnership does is really help out smaller operators that perhaps don't have all of the resources--from personnel as well as financials--to take on all of the elements of bringing a solution to market," he said.

Sprint has made no secret of its desire to push further into the M2M and embedded wireless space. It has certified over 300 non-Sprint M2M devices through its Open Device Initiative. Indeed, the carrier provides wireless service for Amazon's Kindle ereader and earlier this year it inked a deal with Ford Motor Co. to put in-dashboard computers that connect to Sprint's network in Ford vehicles. Creason said the deal would help accelerate that trend.

"We're creating scale to the business," he said. "A partnership like this with M2M DataSmart will help us generate a lot more activity from devices we're not aware of."

Yet Sprint is by no means alone as the nation's carriers look beyond traditional wireless connections for supplemental revenue streams. Verizon Wireless formed an M2M joint venture with Qualcomm in late July called nPhase. And AT&T signed an exclusive deal in May with M2M firm Jasper Wireless for Jasper to provide the activation, billing and connectivity support for all the embedded wireless devices on the carrier's network.

In other M2M news, T-Mobile International and Sierra Wireless signed a deal to provide joint solutions for the M2M market. The companies will work together on product development, marketing, sales and deployment of M2M solutions and related services. The cooperation targets the European market, with initial focus on Germany.

For more:
- see this Sprint release
- see this T-Mobile release

Related Articles:
Sprint, GE Healthcare partner on wireless networks
AT&T moves closer to embedded wireless vision
Verizon, Qualcomm forming M2M joint venture
Verizon's Seidenberg: 500 percent penetration achievable
Smart grids: The next wireless goldmine?
Is embedded wireless the new M2M?