Vodafone, Verizon Wireless and nPhase, a Verizon Wireless / Qualcomm Joint Venture, today announced they are forming a strategic alliance aimed at accelerating the adoption of global machine-to-machine (M2M) deployments by simplifying the remote management and monitoring of devices spread across both European and US networks.
The alliance is designed to deliver a simple and effective international management solution for the growing number of companies looking to use M2M wireless communications to enhance their customer service and create new service offerings in sectors including energy, healthcare, automotive telematics, consumer and commercial products. A good example of M2M technology in action is the growing use of smart meters in the utility industry, enabling firms to efficiently collect meter data and provide two-way data transmissions and tailored offers for their customers.
The alliance members anticipate that this move will result in increased demand for M2M services on mobile networks across Europe and North America over the coming years. Globally, industry-wide operator revenues for wireless M2M were €3 billion ($4.3B USD) in 2008, and this is forecast to rise to €8.9 billion ($12.9B USD) in 2012, according to the telecom analyst firm Berg Insight, based in Sweden.
The initiative will make it easier for Verizon Wireless and Vodafone customers to activate, monitor and pay for devices that are deployed across both European (on GSM) and US (on CDMA and GSM) networks. The alliance will also offer a single point of contact for provisioning devices that are connected to both Verizon Wireless and Vodafone networks.
At the same time, it will enable firms to centrally manage and control the process of rolling out M2M devices across many countries. This will increase implementation speeds and reduce the cost, complexity and risk traditionally associated with deploying such projects. The alliance members will also work toward providing customers with a single invoice and a single point of contact for technical and other support.
The nPhase M2M services platform, which integrates with the Vodafone M2M global service platform, will provide customers with a range of online management tools giving them a single view of their international M2M estate with additional management capabilities in the pipeline.
"M2M technology is playing an increasingly key role in helping firms to deliver more customized services to their customers, but the difficulties of managing devices on a global level was stopping the sector from realising its true potential," said Erik Brenneis, Global Head of M2M, Vodafone. "Through this alliance, we are making it even easier for firms to roll out M2M technology to their customers, where ever they may be."
"This alliance combines the strength of our recently announced nPhase joint venture with Qualcomm with our long-standing global partner Vodafone," said Tony Lewis, Vice President of Open Development for Verizon Wireless. "For our customers and for the marketplace, this means simplified management of devices globally across best-in-class networks in both the United States and Europe."
"The essence of this new alliance is to simplify the complex," said Steve Pazol, president of nPhase. "This business alliance removes many of the complexities by building on the tremendous capabilities and reach of Vodafone and Verizon Wireless to offer a single standard interface, and provide pre-certified global devices that can support both CDMA and GSM networks."