Are Service Providers Limiting their Own Growth with M2M?

by OMA | Monday, March 31, 2014

Are Service Providers Limiting their Own Growth with M2M?


Mae Kowalke,, 28 March 2014 – The opportunity is great.

Any executive in the telecommunications space probably has his eye on the machine-to-machine (M2M) space, a still relatively untapped market that all agree will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. While the majority of the world’s population is now connected to the Internet in some form, whether through laptops and iPads or simply a basic smartphone, most “things” in the world still are not connected.

The potential to provide infrastructure and services to enable the Internet of things through M2M therefore is great.

Some experts predict that by 2020, there is going to be 50 billion devices connected, according to Eshwar Pittampalli of the Open Mobile Alliance.

With this very big pie now on the table, executives are looking at how they can get their slice.

So far, the slice that communications service providers (CSPs) think they can get from the M2M pie is limited by their imaginations, however, according to Pittampalli.

The CSPs are not just limited to providing connection only,” Pittampalli told TMCnet during ITEXPO Miami this past January. “They can provide connection platform, connection platform plus service, connection platform plus service plus distribution. And they can even do the M2M system integration.

He should know. The Open Mobile Alliance is an industry group with members consisting of global telecom service providers, communications service providers and major infrastructure developers for the telecom sector, as well as most of the mobile device manufacturers and many IT manufacturers.

The Alliance currently is focused on M2M and developing horizontal, logical software building blocks they call service enablers. These service enablers can be used by any telecom service provider in building a service by using the blocks to develop an application that is going to take care of their end-users.

Through this work, Pittampalli has witnessed the potentially huge opportunities for communication service providers that think big.

“The role that CSPs can play is not limited to these ecosystem individual roles,” he noted. “They can do anything and everything possible in the ecosystem to get the majority of the revenue share.”

Executives are not wrong to focus on M2M strategy.

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