Deutsche Telekom to emulate App Store with M2M model

German operator group Deutsche Telekom is looking to emulate Apple’s success in the smartphone app market with its M2M offering, Jürgen Hase, vice president M2M competence center at the operator told delegates at Internet of Things World Forum 2013.

While some operators have opted to partner with a third party platform provider such as Jasper Wireless, Deutsche Telekom has instead chosen to develop a solution in house. Hase has previously explained to it made this call due to the requirements coming from the automotive sector, the energy and health sectors meaning operators are going to have to add many additional features and build them in their own way to ensure full integration with their network.

In his keynote this week, he elaborated on the concept and explained that the operator group had previously looked to build tailormade M2M platforms for its enterprise customers according to vertical. However, the firm then realised it would be more effective for end users if the operator switched to a “horizontal approach”. He said Deutsche Telekom now uses open APIs and open architectures to create an open interface for solutions provider partners.

He added that the firm is looking to develop a minimum of 50 solutions per year for the verticals that it targets. He noted that there are a number of everyday applications that will benefit from M2M connectivity, such as street lighting, parking, pollution monitoring, public transport and waste management. While he conceded that not all of the solutions developed will catch on, the operator will can those unsuccessful solutions and continue to help innovate new and more successful ones.

“We’re not experts in vending machines, for example, so we work with partners in that space and the way we look to serve them is by offering them open interfaces for our platform.”

He added that ultimately, the best approach to providing M2M services to end users will be determined by the market. However, he noted that iPhone maker Apple has been successful in a similar endeavour with its smartphone App Store.

“Apple created a development platform, a frame for developers to create apps for the iPhone and iPad and then it sells sold those apps to customers through the App Store. We’re looking to develop the same for M2M customers,” he said.

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