Sprint, like Verizon and AT&T, sees big bucks ahead in M2M services. A new deal with Orange will expand Sprint's M2M services to 180 countries.
Sprint and Orange Business
Services, the enterprise division of France Telecom-Orange, have inked a new
deal that will extend Sprint's machine-to-machine (M2M) services to 180
The announcement comes on
the eve of Sprints fiscal fourth-quarter 2011 earnings release, scheduled for
Sprint recognizes that its
customers compete in the global economy and they expect their processing,
monitoring, diagnostic and distribution applications to work seamlessly
wherever their business takes them," Yijing Brentano, Sprint's vice
president of international wholesale, said in a statement. "Thanks to
Oranges extensive and proven global network, we will provide our customers
with seamless, global M2M solutions with the highest standard in quality of
Orange will provide Sprint
with M2M-specific GSM SIM cards, for deployment with a variety of devices; a
Web portal where Sprint customers can order and manage the SIM cards; and end-to-end
service from the cards to a customer's application platform.
Additionally, with Orange's
capabilities, Sprint M2M customers will be able to extend their solutions
beyond the United States; to have a single, dedicated entity managing M2M
connectivity requirements; to be able to achieve economies of scale for better
cost control and faster project deployments; and to have a more integrated
supply chain process.
Research, in a Jan. 17 report, called the M2M market a now "fully
mainstream segment of the cellular industry." The research firm expects
the M2M connections to grow from 2011's 110 million to 365 million connections
by 2016roughly a 27 percent growth rate translating to $35 billion in service
as on-board help systems and fleet-tracking systemsare expected to account for
more than $15.5 billion in 2016. Smart energy solutions, such as smart meters
and data concentrators, will represent $7.5 billion in 2016, according to ABI.
As mobile operators further
develop their M2M service offerings, software platforms and M2M application
developer support will feature as increasingly larger components of the
operators services, Sam Lucero, an ABI analyst who studies M2M technology,
said in a statement. For example, AT&T announced [Jan. 9] that it
would be reselling Axedas M2M application platform in a U.S. carrier exclusive
deal. This platform will enable AT&T customers to more easily develop
and deploy complex M2M applications.
Axeda's Dale Calder, in a
Jan. 11 blog
post on the deal, called M2M "hard," as it involves developing
cloud services that listen to products, integrating that cloud service into a
business and its processes, enabling a product, and ensuring one's carrier can
provide airtime and proper coverage, among other challenges. The Axeda and
AT&T deal, he added, was a way of "corralling the disparate parts of
M2M" to make it "easy."
During Verizon Wireless'
fourth quarter 2011 earnings call, CFO Fran Shammo, answering questions about
earnings growth, pointed to machine-to-machine projects being fed by Verizon's
Innovation Center in Massachusetts.
"We can't lose
sight of the machine-to-machine market," said Shammo. "There is a lot
of technology and innovation that's going to come out around [automotive],
around health care, around energy conservation that really will be leaps and
bounds beyond anything that we see currently in the marketplace today."
position" in the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) space, he added, will be an
enormous asset for driving and supporting M2M initiatives.
Orange Business Services has
more than 200 experts currently dedicated to M2M, and, in celebrating Sprint's
decision to team up, noted that Orange currently supports more than 2.5 million
active M2M connections.
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.