Momentum around M2M is certainly growing. But, there are many question marks about how the market will evolve. It’s not just the enormous potential that captures attention: there are issues such as profit margin, distribution, roaming, and more, as a recent article in Total Telecom online makes clear.
While there is disagreement regarding margin potential, there are question marks about the cost of supporting complex M2M applications, particularly in cases where devices roam between countries and networks. Although much of the flood of M2M data will be neither real-time nor mission critical, there will be a significant proportion that will be both. This means that QoS guarantees, SLAs and the like will become as important in the M2M world as they are in traditional mobile networks.
It’s also likely that higher-value applications will have greater QoS and service guarantee attributes. In order to support, for example, tracking of medical devices on a global basis, network infrastructure needs to be in place. And, all M2M devices will need to be provisioned successfully on activation, even if they have been dormant for considerable periods of time. High-margin applications will need QoS guarantees because they may be more important, but lower margin applications will also need QoS guarantees because the impact of support costs in thin margins could be ruinous.