Vodafone has maintained its position as the world’s leading M2M service provider, according to Machina Research’s annual scorecard.

The UK-based operator overtook AT&T and Verizon to become the biggest global M2M provider in the analyst firm’s M2M Communications Service Provider Benchmarking Report 2014.

Vodafone was the biggest in terms of number of SIMs and was also the fastest growing of the fifteen operators studied.

New initiatives, such as licensing of its GDSP platform, allied to the injection of funds from the operator’s multibillion euro Project Spring investment programme will provide further impetus in the next few years, the research firm said.

[Read more: Vodafone’s M2M business gets a lift with KONE deal]

AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica were just ranked behind Vodafone in the report.

Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica were singled out for the work they’ve been involved with in developing their global alliances; the Global M2M Association and M2M World Alliance respectively.

[Read more: Video: Turkcell and Telefónica execs discuss M2M strategy]

Such alliances have led to an evolution in operators’ approach to the M2M market from global to “multi-local”, driven by regulation and customer demand.

According to the report’s author, Matt Hatton, the challenge for operators is to convert the “excellent” work that has been done in terms of technical cooperation, in areas such as certification and cross-network troubleshooting, into commercial cooperation.

He added: “The need for alliances and horizontal partners will grow. CSPs without substantial footprints will struggle to deliver multi-local solutions on their own. Instead they must focus on using alliances to tap into global opportunities while going deeper into their domestic markets.

“However, these won’t be exclusive arrangements; alliance involvement will be a patchwork rather than a set of monolithic multi-carrier organisations”.

Read more

M2M market scaling to become a significant business, says report

Opinion: The three evolutionary phases of M2M

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