Vodafone is launching a global “machine to machine” (M2M) service platform to help companies deploy and manage large, wireless M2M projects, including smart metering, connected cars and remote equipment monitoring.
The new platform will be supported by a specialist team with world-wide responsibility for growing Vodafone’s M2M business. The network claims that a significant demand for M2M services on mobile networks is expected across Europe over the coming years.
Globally, operator revenues for wireless M2M were around £2.6 billion in 2008, forecast to rise to around £7.7 billion in 2012, according to analyst firm Berg Insight.
Vodafone said it would provide a single point of contact for customers to manage M2M connectivity from early concept development to support for national and multinational deployments.
Companies will be able to centrally manage and control the process of rolling out M2M devices across many countries, increasing the speed of implementation and reducing the cost, complexity and risk traditionally associated with deploying such projects.
As well as enabling companies to gather customer data from a range of wireless devices, the platform will offer a suite of management functionality including the ability to centrally activate, suspend and deactivate devices at the click of a button.
Vodafone’s new dedicated global M2M team of 100 staff is to develop services designed to match specific industry needs alongside flexible commercial models. The team will analyse and provide solutions for emerging M2M market requirements, such as smart metering for utilities and e-call in the automotive industry, which is an alert system for cars involved in accidents.
Vodafone has also claimed the technology can help large businesses to reduce their impact on the environment. An upcoming Vodafone report calculates that the greenhouse gas emissions savings from a range of M2M-enabled smart systems could be more than 90 million tonnes per year across 25 EU countries by the year 2020.
Vodafone global enterprise chief executive Nick Jeffery said: “The market for M2M smart services using intelligent devices is taking off, but in order for it to deliver its true potential, service providers like Vodafone need to provide customers with managed connectivity that is reliable, cost effective and universal.
“With our dedicated global M2M service platform and experienced M2M team in place, Vodafone is able to give customers the support they need at a price they can afford so that they can bring to market innovative propositions.”