No one would disagree that the impact of wireless and mobile communication in our daily lives have been profound, to say the least. One can confidently say that no technology has been adapted so rapidly in a global scale as the mobile telephony. It is noteworthy to mention that since the first deployment of AMPS systems in the US in 1983, the adoption of the technology has been growing exponentially in a global scale. Based on GSMA, over 3.89 billion people had subscription to mobile telephony in 2016. This number is expected to grow to 5.8 billion by 2020. While this number may look overwhelming, it is expected to be dwarfed compared to the anticipated number of the connections forecasted for IoT systems. McKinsey, for instance, puts the number of IoT connected device at 30 billion by the end of 2020. GSMA predicts a total contribution to the global economy of around $4.2 trillion in 2020.
As the world becomes smaller and the “Internet of things” becomes larger, mobility and global services, i.e., provisioning, connection management, security, control and monitoring (roaming) of Machine to Machine (M2M) devices have become essential. For instance, many modules purchased and provisioned in one location/country need to operate in other countries.
The deployment dynamics of M2M modules and applications differ from traditional, high-end consumer and business subscribers using smart phones and laptops; operators now have to consider low ARPUs, adapted data plans, and permanent roaming solutions to stay competitive in the M2M market.
In this article we will look at some of the opportunities and challenges facing this industry.