Asia-Pac operators join forces on M2M

As operators globally begin to place more emphasis on the opportunities in the M2M sector, 11 Asia Pacific carriers have joined an alliance to offer their customers a ‘one-stop-shop’ for M2M services.

The Bridge M2M Alliance comprises India’s Airtel, AIS in Thailand, Hong Kong’s CSL, Globe Telecom from the Philippines, Malaysia’s Maxis, MobiFone from Vietnam, Australia’s Optus, SingTel from Singapore, South Korea’s SK Telecom, Taiwan Mobile from Taiwan and Telkomsel  of Indonesia. The operators have a combined subscriber base of over 500 million subscribers, according to the Alliance.

By joining the Alliance, the operators aim to enable their customers in the region to deal with one entity, rather than multiple operators, as their services cross geographical boundaries. The Bridge M2M Alliance also said that operators will benefit from improved customer experience management through enhanced interoperability and customer support.

“Asia is made up of highly varied economies, uneven technological development and diversified regulatory requirements,” said Alessandro Adriani, CEO of Bridge Alliance.

“As a result, multinational businesses find it extremely difficult to navigate the intricacies of the region and to fully capitalise on economies of scale. The evolution of Bridge Alliance in the M2M business is an indication of the commitment from the 11 operators to overcome these challenges for the success of customers’ businesses.”

The operators will also collaborate to devise new business models and create new products and services while reducing operational costs, the Alliance claimed.

In Europe, the Global M2M Association was set up in February 2011, founded by operator groups Deutsche Telekom and Orange. It also counts Telecom Italia and TeliaSonera as its members and the project aims to offer M2M applications that run across the combined footprints of the four operators.

M2M specialist Jasper Wireless has also launched an M2M platform with buy-in from seven operators from around the world. The operators will agree on standards and technologies to use in the M2M space.

The prospects in the M2M space are promising for mobile operators. They were on course to generate $10bn over the course of 2013 from the sector, according to research firm Analysys Mason, which forecast this figure to increase to $88bn by 2023.

And operator group Vodafone has forecast that half of enterprises worldwide will have adopted M2M technology by 2015. It also said that although large organisations have so far led in deploying M2M technology, it is the smaller organisations that are set to drive the next wave of growth and surpass their larger counterparts in terms of adoption.

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