Carriers in M2M: Opportunities and Challenges (part three)

M2M and its applications have appealed to a number of telecom operators due to various reasons. Prime reason among these is that M2M holds the key to open new avenues for telecom services providers.

The core business of telecom service provider is to provide voice services. In developed countries this market is highly saturated and hence is basically a zero-sum game. Acquiring new customers essentially means luring them to switch carriers which lead to intense price wars along with flattening margins and revenue. Although emerging markets have room for growth, they are difficult to capture due to regulatory barriers and serving these markets require distinct value-proposition as compared to western markets. Carriers recognise the erosion of traditional voice-based business and hence are exploring the M2M space which is slated to grow massively in coming decade. M2M is poised to provide operators with additional revenue channels through technology that rides on their existing telecom network. This primarily means M2M requires little investment in development of infrastructure. These two factors make M2M business quite an attractive proposition to follow.

It is now an accepted fact that operators are willing to plunge into the M2M business however when the delivery aspects of M2M are considered, it becomes a challenging arena altogether. M2M is applicable to wide variety of industries and all the sectors will require different treatment altogether. Each application will have to be designed in a way that it aligns well to a particular industry.

Strategy 2: Engaging vertical partners

In order to overcome above-mentioned challenge, operators across the globe have sought to engage with companies to develop and provide solutions in various sectors. These chosen partners bring-in sector specific knowledge which the carriers may not possess. By the virtue of these collaborations, carriers develop explicit application for specific industry which perfectly caters to its requirements. This enables the carriers to carve a niche for themselves in the market and also capture unexplored industries or businesses.

One of the highly talked-about partnerships includes Vodafone’s collaboration with BMW to offer innovative in-car services based on the lines of eCall in Europe. eCall is a European initiative intended to bring rapid assistance to motorists involved in a collision anywhere in the European Union.

Everything Everywhere has joined-hands with Nokia Siemens Networks for proving solution to vending machine owners. The venture will offer vending machine owners the opportunity to increase revenue and reduce costs through remote stock monitoring, increased customer interaction and multiple payment methods.

Orange Business Services has teamed-up with Veolia Water for Remote environmental data and water metering services. Through their joint-venture, Orange and Veolia Water aim provide benefit to people with their remote meter metering service, helping pave the way for the emergence of a global standard for remote data collection networks.

Many more such collaborations have been shaped for different verticals to make businesses efficient and smooth.

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Analysis of telecom and ICT infrastructure, technologies, and applications.
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