While many M2M applications are simply about non-real time data and connectivity, there are many applications and opportunities where an operator can add considerable value.
Connectivity is important, but operators seeking to find a role to play in the expanding M2M ecosystem should also be looking at ways in which to deliver additional value, as a recent article points out.
And, as operators always want to secure more revenue, there is a clear imperative to invest in the ability to deliver additional value. One way to achieve this is to differentiate more between the needs of different sorts of M2M data and to consider cases where multiple streams are competing for the same resources.
There is a clear role for M2M aggregation gateways that can resolve the needs of different forms of data – aggregating data from different local inputs and then, with the application of the correct policy, ensuring that the streams that need higher priority obtain it, while those that do not simply leverage the connectivity that they require.
Beyond this, MNOs can deliver more intelligence about performance, which in turn will stimulate new applications. To achieve this, MNOs need to be able to control and enforce policies not only in the RAN, but also on the gateway devices. By deploying, for example, PCEF capabilities in specialised M2M aggregation gateways, MNOs can create greater value in the ecosystem and deliver solutions that only they can.
It’s early days in the M2M world and there have been many reports that suggest it’s really only about connectivity and volume. As the market matures, there will be greater recognition that M2M will be a diverse market with many different application requirements. By seizing the initiative now, MNOs will be better positioned to capitalise on higher-value opportunities and to stimulate more specialised application development that leverages the capabilities they offer.