Managed services company Bamboo Technology, based in Cheltenham, has just launched a machine-to-machine (M2M) network for its customers after a successful trial phase.
The company’s M2M SIMs can work on all UK-based networks and, thanks to a special agreement with telecoms giant Telefonica, on more than 600 networks globally.
Customers can get these SIMs on flexible pence-per-kilobyte plans or take out bespoke data plans, and they can use the network to build new services powered by IoT.
M2M is an important area in the growing connected technology market, providing the data connectivity element of IoT ecosystems.
Take, for example, a smart meter that tracks energy use or an internet-enabled car that can provide the driver with weather information: in both cases, M2M plays a fundamental role.
One customer already working with Bamboo and demonstrating the potential of M2M is Protrack Solutions, a provider of vehicle telematics solutions for the logistics industry. The company’s Protracker Pluss solution enables businesses to track vehicles in real-time, providing GPS location data and information on driving performance such as acceleration, braking, cornering and speed, in addition to providing two-way communication with drivers via SMS messaging.
M2M connectivity is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years, with analysts at Machina Research forecasting in mid-2015 that cellular M2M connections will grow to 2.2 billion devices by 2024.
Big step for UK IoT
Bamboo’s M2M service is targeted predominantly at companies looking for reliable, multi-network connectivity to help them build their own IoT products and services.
As well as this, companies will also get access to monitoring and control features offered via the Cisco Jasper IoT services platform and will be able to tailor their M2M services more effectively, according to the company.
Lorrin White, managing director of Bamboo, claims that investing in IoT technology will bring a plethora of new benefits to her firm and customers.
“The Internet of Things has ushered in a whole new era of innovation. No industry will be left untouched by the disruption and positive change that IoT will bring,” she said.
“The interest among our partners over the last year has been incredibly exciting. We have seen the creation of profitable and innovative new IoT services. But we know we are at the tip of the iceberg. I cannot wait to see what our customers build in the future when leveraging M2M connectivity.”
M2M in all industries
M2M technology is already making waves in a number of industries, especially in retail, said Hugh Fletcher, a digital business consultant at e-commerce firm Salmon. He explained that companies can use IoT data to get a better insight into their customers.
It’s still early days for programmatic commerce, he said, referring to the way in which purchase decisions will increasingly be made automatically by connected devices on behalf of consumers and businesses, based on pre-programmed parameters and pre-defined preferences. But, he added, “the UK release of Amazon Dash, and Nespresso’s recently launched, Bluetooth-enabled coffee machine to to show that M2M technology is close.”
“With connected devices growing exponentially, customers becoming more accepting of sharing data, and organizations looking for new and more reliable revenue streams, programmatic commerce will be the next evolution to completely change the industry.”
He added: “The world is becoming interconnected and companies already have the access to shoppers’ data through online purchases. It’s simply a matter of fusing all the components currently available, with the data and insights that the connected world will provide.
“Organizations that don’t prepare for programmatic commerce risk operating in a world where potential customers are already locked into relationships with their competitors, therefore blocking their ability to cater for the customers’ desire for ease and convenience.”