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Published on October 24th, 2014 | by David Frith


4Gon Discuss M2M and the Internet of Things with Comms Business Magazine

Alexis Argent, founder and director of 4Gon Solutions, discusses the development of Machine to Machine Technology and the Internet of Things with Comms Business Magazine. 

As it stands, what is your view of the M2M market and how will the Channel fit in with that view?

In my view, the M2M market has been a long time coming. Certainly large companies have dipped their toe and have used the technology in its basic form, i.e. ATMs using 3G routers to pass data back to the data centre.

Also, certain niche markets have already adopted this technology and are having success such as the monitoring of equipment within the ocean. I believe this technology will gradually increase over the next 12-18 months. The reason for this is that although we have good quality technology, we do not currently comprehend all the solutions this can be used for. It will take one person or company to use the technology and show others how they are making use of it, and then for others to follow.

What type of solutions are currently available and being actively sold by resellers?

There are numerous M2M solutions currently being sold on the market. The Peplink Pepwave MAX Business Rugged range offers an unbreakable VPN for M2M Communications, which is fundamental in the case of WAN failure. 

The Peplink setup shows how the Bank ATM can have an unbreakable VPN for M2M communication in several stages.

Another Peplink Pepwave example is the deployment of Pepwave Max BR2s with a Peplink Balance 2500. The products are used with an already setup IP video surveillance network, offering 24/7 unbreakable CCTV.  Essentially if one 3G link fails, SpeedFusion instantly and seamlessly switches traffic to another connection, for uninterrupted video surveillance.

The manufacturing and healthcare industries have undoubtedly already benefited from M2M technology already, and will continue to as the technology grows. M2M allows for patients to be monitored remotely for conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats.

M2M monitoring and tracking solutions also help to maintain medical and lab equipment more effectively through real-time notification of potential issues.

Other examples include 3G and 4G router manufacturer Sierra Wireless, who provided a comprehensive M2M remote management solution for Nespresso and its range of professional coffee machines used in restaurants, hotels, offices, and luxury retail boutiques. The setup, using the AirVantage M2M Cloud Platform and AirLink GL6100 programmable modem, allows Nespresso to excel in the dedicated professional services it provides to its business customers. The M2M solution enabled Nespresso to deliver extended after-sales services by ensuring that the machines are maintained in excellent condition.

Does the Channel get M2M/ IoT? How much education is there still to be done?

There is a huge amount of education to be done. Lots of people are still wary of M2M, and although they love to talk about it and discuss it, they do not actually know of how much benefit it can be. Only when education is improved will M2M really take off. In regards to what we are seeing now, this is just small fry compared to what will be the sales of M2M products and the uses people find for them, from monitoring and automating interventions etc.

How big is the M2M/ IoT opportunity? What should resellers wanting to explore this area be doing?

Right now resellers need to be educating their partners and showing what the possibilities are. There will be some resellers that are already seeing what they may view as great growth, however there is so much more to come. Education and investigation into what we can do with M2M will lead to the IoT.

The possibilities are endless and the sooner the current user base can show the current and future uses, the sooner this technology will evolve. I would suggest showing virtual case studies of the possibilities coupled with what’s currently happening in the market from the mundane, such as wind turbines using M2M to determine where the energy gets sent to, to the abstract, like monitoring devices at the bottom of the ocean communicating to other M2M devices, to determine when the next natural disaster may occur, and then alerting the necessary people to intervene.

One day we won’t need the intervention as IoT will just take the necessary precautions we currently rely on these people for.

How do you see the M2M/ IoT market evolving over the next 12 -18 months? 

I believe the growth in this market will accelerate, however I don’t believe there will be a technological explosion. A broader understanding of the current uses, coupled with the knowledge of what’s possible will help this market grow. 12-18 months feels like a good start, but I think the true growth will happen after that. If we look at how long other similar markets took to develop such as 3G and 4G routers, we all expected an explosion some time ago, but in reality we are seeing good growth month on month and year on year, so I believe the same will be true of the M2M and IoT market.

You can see the original article via the interactive Comms Business Magazine.

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David Frith

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