We are only at the beginning of the M2M revolution believes Erik Brenneis, director of M2M at Vodafone who has already seen the number of Vodafone M2M connections grow from 3 million to 14 million over the last four years. In an exclusive interview with Robin Duke-Woolley, CEO at specialist M2M research and analysis firm Beecham Research, Erik Brenneis predicted rapid acceleration of M2M connections, driven by the automotive, energy, health and consumer electronics markets. Brenneis also believes that while Europe is a maturing market that will see steady growth with applications such as smart metering, fleet management and payment systems, emerging market regions such as India and Africa are increasingly embracing M2M machine connectivity.
“As the largest global mobile operator, Vodafone is ideally placed to drive and support growth in M2M markets around the world,” said Brenneis. “But rather than just providing the connectivity, we are now offering complete M2M connected solutions – working with partners to bring together hardware, software and data analytics.” Brenneis points to the Connected Cabinet or Freezer that constantly monitors temperatures and stock levels and feeds this information back to the drinks manufacturers and suppliers. Other examples include a connected car solution that monitors driver behaviour for insurance companies and remote health monitoring for diabetic patients and heart pace makers.
Erik Brenneis believes that keeping it simple has been the key to Vodafone’s success in the M2M market. “We created a very simple offer that consists of the service delivery platform, a single global SIM with one price and service level agreement and global teams to provide support that makes it very easy for customers to connect their machines,” said Brenneis, who also stressed the importance of Vodafone’s partners across networks, hardware, software and systems integration, in delivering a complete global solution.
When it comes to networks, Brenneis said that while 2G was perfectly fine for applications such as traditional alarm systems, applications such as the connected car will require an LTE connection inside the car that transform the car into a driving wifi hotspot to link in-car electronics as well as smartphones and tablets.
Brenneis, who has been one of the pioneers of the M2M market, is excited by opportunities ahead and believes that, “Vodafone has the mobile networks, the teams and M2M offers to create solutions that will help shape the future.”
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