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Economic crisis will boost M2M communications

15 июня 2009

Orange Business Services said that the economic crisis will likely boost the growth of the machine-to-machine (M2M) communications market, as businesses look into new ways to optimise their operational costs.

"When you look at any given business you can see that it can be completely transformed by this technology, and I think that this is going to come in the next three to four years, certainly pushed by the crisis, also by the maturity of the technologies," said Barbara Dalibard, executive vice president and CEO of Orange Business Services.

"I remember seven years ago when I was speaking of machine-to-machine within Orange... I was getting nice smiles, now everybody knows this is something that will happen," she said.

Orange ramped up its M2M push at the beginning of 2009 when it acquired fleet management and telemetry firm Mobile & Data. The operator currently has over one million active M2M SIM cards in Europe.

"The numbers are becoming important in terms of the number of machines connected," said Dalibard, who added that she expects an "exponential growth" in the number of machines that make use of mobile technology.

She commented to Total Telecom in London that one customer of Orange Business Services, bottled gas supplier Primagaz, has rolled out an application that enables it to remotely monitor the consumption of gas by its customers, and can visualise it using a Google Maps style interface.

"It enables them to be very proactive with their customers and deliver better quality of service...they say to us that it's good for their numbers and their opex because they optimise all their costs," she said.

Dalibard said that regulators will also drive the uptake of M2M services in some markets, particularly when it comes to energy consumption.

"It's absolutely clear that in some countries because of the regulation related to electricity metering, some of them will go quicker than others," she said.

"In some countries they are very advanced because there is a strong push from the government... and in some others they say perhaps three years from now we'll start thinking about it," she said.

"The [regulatory] environment is very important," she commented.

Furthermore, Dalibard stressed that improvements need to be made to ensure the durability of M2M SIM cards in terms of their physical strength and their ability to handle millions of sessions.

"With the SIM card you have today, usually the lifetime is something like five or six years and it can manage around 100,000 calls, and each call is around two to three minutes," she said.

"Here with machine-to-machine...you don't want to open the machine every day to take the SIM card out so it needs to last more like 10 years and you need them to be able to have millions of sessions," she said.


Источник: Total Telecom

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