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What does 2012 have in store for M2M? Optimized Pricing and True Global Connectivity.

Posted by Alex Brisbourne on 12/13/2011
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More and more, M2M is a story about ensuring global connectivity. It is about infusing critical systems—e.g., supply chain management, health management, energy management — with improved connectivity, automation and control. The trouble is these connections are impeded at times by political or geographic boundaries.

Interestingly, and perhaps surprisingly to many, roughly 92 percent of the globe's surface area is not covered by cellular connectivity due to oceans and non-inhabitable land masses, for example, at the polar extremes. This means, from the M2M stakeholder's perspective, that 2012 must bring about an integration of terrestrial and satellite services so that devices can communicate whenever, and wherever, they are needed.

The economics of global connectivity must therefore also evolve. Forcing a device to roam every time it crosses a border is not the answer, long-term. Instead, services that encompass global connectivity, pricing and management, such as KORE Global Connect, should become the rule not the exception. But M2M operators must go even deeper than offering in-country network connectivity around the world—they must cut directly to the ebb-and-flow nature of M2M device usage. Businesses cannot be expected to pay large, recurring fees if an M2M application exists merely to detect exceptions.

To meet these increasingly sophisticated demands from the marketplace, KORE has designed and launched a self-managing, automatically calculating tariff structure for our on-net devices, which we believe solves several economic questions relating both to sporadic, seasonal or unpredictable airtime usage, as well as an expanding geographic footprint for devices in general.

Dubbed "IntelliRate" we designed our rate structure to detect usage variability and apply an equitable rate according to each device's actual usage on a monthly basis. The key is that IntelliRate does this automatically, with zero customer intervention required to optimize pricing. KORE designates several rate "steps," based on a combination of 10 tiers of data usage and seven geographic coverage areas. And in order to further control costs, customers can precisely control which geographic zones a device or group of devices can access. What's more, KORE now offers hybrid service plans with discounts applied that allow a multi-mode device to connect via the best network technology available, either cellular or satellite.

One size no longer has to fit all.

To be sure, 2012 will be a year when the three pillars to true global service and support for M2M take root: a high-reliability network infrastructure, self-adjusting tariff plans and a technology platform, PRiSMPro, to ease the process of device provisioning and management.

Finally, as we've referenced in recent posts, 2012 will begin to yield some answers as to the long-term utility of 2G technology, particularly as a means to "serve the machines." The fact is, 2G devices will remain in place for even the most advanced M2M applications in the near term – the next 2-3 years at least. These devices do not use as much power, cost less per device and have a substantially larger geographic foot print compared to their 3G counterparts. In fact, the entire population of M2M devices in North America could be run, coast to coast, on roughly 5 mHz of spectrum over pre-existing, fully depreciated 2G networks. Think about that — pure profit for the operator, great economics for the user. Mark our words — this discussion will take center stage as a driver for the future of connected devices.

The M2M industry is strong and continues to grow. We are only beginning to see its implications take shape for important applications such as public safety, consumer convenience, healthcare, utilities and environmental controls, among many others. At KORE, it is our job to create an accessible on-ramp for innovators to advance the state-of-the-art.

by Alex Brisbourne, President and COO

As the president and chief operating officer of KORE, Alex has over 20 years of experience in the networking and telecommunications industry, in Europe, North America and Asia. His expertise and areas of concentration center around wireless, enterprise and fixed line services. In his current role at KORE, he continually strives to improve company growth, by ensuring the M2M marketplace and KORE customers are well served by members of the KORE team worldwide.