By: Jesse Cryderman
Anyone with a finger on the pulse of telecommunications will tell you that a seismic shift is occurring, and itâ€™s bigger than 4G or VoLTE. This change will predominantly occur over 2G, WiMAX and Wi-Fi, and it has very little to do with customer experience management (CEM). Thatâ€™s because the connected future belongs to machines, and machine-to-machine communications (M2M) will eventually outnumber human connections by a substantial margin. The applications for M2M are limitless: from vending machines to healthcare devices to home appliances and public safety systems, nearly everything that can benefit from connectivity will. That much is certain.
What is less certain is what will transpire between today and the Jetsons-like future that awaits us. Will user configuration errors turn a "make more ice" command intended for a "smart" refrigerator into a poison pill for a home network? Will hackers infiltrate public safety networks or use SIM cards from unattended devices to perpetrate fraud? M2M is still a nascent technology, and security concerns are one major piece in the puzzle that must be addressed before the technology moves forward into a secure and profitable automation and virtualization solution.
When industry leaders like John Horn, president of Raco Wireless, say, "Machines are going to rule the world," they are hardly joking. Current M2M use cases like telematics and fleet management, security, smart grids, and dynamic advertising are just the beginning of a trend that will generate billions of dollars for mobile network operators (MNOs). The latest white paper from Machina Research forecasts the following developments by 2020: