Let Machines Do the Talking

Telecom Lead Team:
Machine-to-machine (M2M)
communication is an intelligent solution that enables devices to connect with
each other efficiently through existing communications infrastructure and
networks, both wired and wireless. M2M enables better information flow and
improve logistics between devices, delivering a wide range of benefits for
consumers and enterprises alike. The use of M2M communications is growing
worldwide, with applications in automotive, metering, remote management,
industrial data collection, healthcare and home automation among others.


The potential for M2M is
huge. We believe an estimated 50 billion machines globally will benefit from
M2M technology and the market for M2M modules is set to reach US$1billion in
2015. In addition, Gartner projects M2M to experience 25% year-on-year volume
growth from 2009 to 2013, with power generation, logistics and transportation
sectors are seen to be the heaviest adopters of M2M communications with increasing
demand from finance, retail and security.


However, any discussion on
the potential of M2M must include security, as it is essential to ensure that
consumer privacy and business data are confidential and secure. Current
discussions point to a layer further than GSM encryption, with the data being
encrypted as soon as it arrives on the device or stored in the server. What is
clear is that any solution should leverage the unique security features of the
MIM, the equivalent of the SIM for M2M communications, as an item of secure
independent hardware that enables the authentication of objects on the network.


To address the lack of
standards, the European Commission has an Internet Engineering Task Force
working on a standard for secure communication between M2M devices and ensuring
the privacy of consumers – an important step towards a universally accepted
security infrastructure for M2M communications.


Another barrier to M2M
adoption is the differing operational environments for each application. From
power plants to automobiles, M2M modems will be exposed to a whole host of
varying conditions and the MIM must be adapted to fit
these unique requirements. In addition, these wireless modems may be used in
places that are difficult to access, hence the need for durable equipment to
reduce replacement and maintenance expenses. Also, as M2M wireless modems are
usually designed to last up to 15 years, MIM cards must have a matching


Despite these challenges,
the return on investment for M2M communications is substantial. The ability of
machines to communicate on a real-time basis will help manufacturers sell
additional services such as maintenance and servicing. In addition, M2M can
potentially help companies transition from a pure manufacturing firm to one
that also sells services, revolutionising their business model and making new
revenue streams available to them.


Gemalto strongly believes in
the potential of M2M. The company recent acquired Cinterion, the leading provider of
industrial M2M wireless communication modules. This acquisition places Gemalto
in a unique position to provide comprehensive M2M modules for industrial
projects, as well as provide service solutions with proven security and
demonstrated remote Over-The-Air management of devices for businesses and


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