M2M One – December 2015 Newsletter

Welcome to M2M One’s December newsletter. As the end of another busy year approaches, we advise you of deadlines for M2M One orders and hours of operations leading up to the Christmas and New Year period. Our support is available over the Christmas break even though our office is closed.

We thank you for your business this year. It has been a pleasure helping you reach your goals, and we look forward to contributing to your success next year. The team at M2M One would like to wish you all a happy and safe break over the Christmas Holiday period and hopes for an exciting 2016.

This months newsletter features:

  1. Notification – Christmas Business Hours
  2. Reference – Useful Documents
  3. Blog – LTE Enhancements for M2M and IoT
  4. Customer Reminder – Telstra 2G (GSM) 900MHz Shutdown

1. Notification – Christmas Business Hours

The M2M One office will be closed over the Christmas & New Years period:

M2M Office closes – 5:00pm Wednesday December 23rd 2015

M2M Office re-opens – 8:30am Monday January 4th 2016

Key Dates & Times

SIM Card Orders – Last SIM card orders are 3:00pm on Wednesday December 23rd

IPX Network Changes – Changes to IPX, VPN or Gateway configurations must be submitted before 5:00pm on Wednesday December 23rd

Technical Support – M2M One Technical Support will be available throughout the holiday period using the emergency contact details listed below – If your issue is not critical please continue to use support@m2mone.com.au

Key Contacts at M2M One

Non-critical Technical Support & IPX Network Changes – Email support@m2mone.com.au or call +61 3 9696 3011 in office hours

Emergency Technical Support – For emergency support please call Prashanth Phutane on +61 488 286 600 or James Mack on +61 411 823 787

SIM Card Orders – Email orders@m2mone.com.au

Invoice, Accounts & Billing – Email accounts@m2mone.com.au

Sales & Account Management (VIC, SA, TAS) – Contact Gideon Borden on gideon.borden@m2mone.com.au or +61 434 770 771

Sales & Account Management (QLD, WA, NT) – Contact Sean Taylor on

sean.taylor@m2mone.com.au or +61 421 724 844

Sales & Account Management (NSW, ACT) – Contact Peter Austin on

peter.austin@m2mone.com.au or +61 407 595 393

Sales Outside of Australia or Service Escalation – Contact James Mack on

james.mack@m2mone.com.au or +61 411 823 787

If you have any questions regarding your service from M2M One, the M2M Control Centre or anything else please don’t hesitate to contact our support team at support@m2mone.com.au or contact me directly at james.mack@m2mone.com.au

2. Reference – Useful Documents

M2M One is building a library of reference material for our customers. Information includes the following useful documents:

Current Retail Pricing – Contact Us

M2M Control Centre Guide – https://www.m2mone.com.au/m2m-downloads/manuals/M2M-One-Control%20Centre-Customer-Admin-Guide-May-2015.pdf

Frequently Asked Questions – https://www.m2mone.com.au/faq/

M2M One Support Portal – https://www.m2mone.com.au/m2m-support/

 

If you have any questions or need any support on pricing, data usage, spend or general control centre support contact M2M One at any time at support@m2mone.com.au

3. Blog – LTE Enhancements for M2M & IoT

This week we’re doing something a little different – We wanted to reach out to other businesses in the M2M/IoT ecosystem and get their opinions and tips on the industry. The first cab off the rank is M2M Connectivity, a specialist M2M hardware provider offering a range of products designed to help people build their ideal M2M product. With all the talk of 2G shutting down (read our blog) and companies deciding to make the jump to 3G or LTE we wanted to get some technical perspectives on LTE and the different flavors available…

You can read the full blog on LTE Enhancements for M2M & IoT here

4. Reminder – Telstra 2G 900MHz Shutdown

We would like to continue to remind our customers that Telstra will discontinue their 2G/GSM network on the 1st of December 2016. This has implications for M2M One customers using 2G 900MHz GSM/GPRS modems.

You can view our official notification here

M2M One customers with 2G devices have the opportunity to utilize 3G and soon 4G LTE. All M2M One SIM cards are compatible with the Telstra 2G, 3G and soon 4G network so you will not need to physically change any SIM cards from M2M One.

M2MOne customers affected by the shut down of Telstra’s 2G/GSM network who are looking for solutions/alternatives for their 2G/GSM devices are advised to contact a 3G/4G LTE device vendor.
Please read M2M One’s notification of the shutdown if you haven’t already.

You can also read our blog on the Australian 2G Shutdown here

If you do not know if your devices will be affected by this please contact M2M One and we can help you.
Guest Blog: LTE Enhancements for M2M and IoT

Guest Blog: LTE Enhancements for M2M and IoT

This week we’re doing something a little different – We wanted to reach out to other businesses in the M2M/IoT ecosystem and get their opinions and tips on the industry. The first cab off the rank is M2M Connectivity, a specialist M2M hardware provider offering a range of products designed to help people build their ideal M2M product. With all the talk of 2G shutting down (read our blog) and companies deciding to make the jump to 3G or LTE we wanted to get some technical perspectives on LTE and the different flavors available.

Over to M2M Connectivity for their post: LTE Enhancements for M2M and IoT

The benefits of a M2M / IoT future places new requirements on connectivity with the evolution of LTE a key component. LTE is becoming more viable for M2M / IoT applications by offering spectral efficiency, longevity, and scalability. LTE MTC (Machine Type Communications) will specifically address dramatic increases expected in the number of devices that will be deployed for M2M communications. The development and introduction of LTE MTC chipsets and modules is seen as a significant step for the cellular M2M market with solutions meeting the key requirements of low pricing, low power consumption, and network longevity.

Many anticipate that 4G LTE MTC will be the smoothest path to adoption as cellular operators shut down 2G networks to re-farm spectrum for more efficient 4G/LTE services. AT&T in the U.S. plans closure of their 2G network by January 1st 2017. All of Singapore’s 2G networks will shut down with M1, Starhub and Singtel announcing a joint shutdown on April 1st 2017. In Australia, Telstra’s 2G will be shut down on December 1st 2016 with Optus to following suit with their 2G network closure on 1st April 2017. Businesses with devices on 2G services have had early and continuing encouragement to migrate from 2G to 3G/4G technologies.

Cellular specialists, however, face competition from dedicated M2M/IoT networks such as SigFox and Semtech’s LoRa technologies that offer low power, low cost alternatives. SigFox, espousing a protocol designed specifically for the IoT, rather than one tweaked to address it, plans global expansion that include networks in Australia. Other technologies are competing in the M2M / IoT space and are gathering multivendor support. LoRaWAN backed by the LoRa Alliance, boasting 130 members has announced a certification program. While LoRa technologies have yet to be widely deployed in Australia, LoRaWAN networks are planned and trials are being conducted.

Global support over existing LTE cellular networks is a big advantage of LTE over alternative networks. LTE will expand into new usage scenarios by providing improved support for low-cost and energy-efficient MTC devices through reduced RF bandwidth. Applications envisioned for LTE MTC include metering, environmental & industrial monitoring, object location tracking, e-health, wearables and sensors.  Lower latency will also enable support for new applications that include traffic safety/control and control of critical infrastructure and industry processes.

LTE current, and upcoming, standards for M2M/IoT include:

  • LTE Cat-1: Provides downlink data rate sufficient for most M2M applications. Enablement of single antenna implementation minimizes changes to current 2G/3G equipment designs.  Most US mobile operators have committed/enabled Cat-1 on networks with a range of Cat-1 modules to be available from late 2015 through 2016 from various device manufacturers.
  • LTE Cat-0:  Provides same single antenna cost optimisation as Cat-1 but with enhanced power saving mode (PSM) for extended battery life.  Modules for Cat-0 may be available depending on operator support.
  • LTE Cat-M: Standard to be ratified with 3GPP in March 2016.  Anticipated enhancements to Cat-1 include modem simplification, reduced bandwidth to 1.4MHz, range of power saving options for ultra-long battery life and extended coverage for remote/harsh environments.
  • Narrow-Band Long-Term Evolution (NB-LTE): This new specification is set to rival other narrowband LTE specifications for 3GPP’s consideration of choice of standards for 4G M2M / IoT communications. NB-LTE proponents argue that without the need for expensive network infrastructure and chipset investments, NB-LTE by leveraging existing LTE network technology enables fast adoption and economies of scale maximization.

Currently, LTE devices have full bandwidth of up to 20MHz typically supporting multiple bandwidths depending on the carrier frequency. Although this provides deployment flexibility and allows devices to exploit the full performance of the bandwidth used, a single small bandwidth on the radio side such as 1.4MHz allows for simpler radio implementation and lower device cost.

Release 13, supporting the coexistence of 1.4MHz narrow-band devices with current LTE devices on a single, wider-band carrier, will further reduce costs by offering low-cost MTC devices that operate using half-duplex and a single antenna, and will limit the data rate to 1Mbps without negatively impacting the performance of existing fully flexible LTE devices.
Exploiting unlicensed spectrum and complemented by multi-antenna enhancements, LTE Release 13 enhancements will improve overall capacity, user data rates and latency in combination with higher-layer protocols such as TCP.   In Australia, LTE MTC on networks and device availability is still to be finalized.  With wide availability of LTE MTC on the horizon, LTE is set to play a key connectivity role in the various applications that make up M2M / IoT solutions.

For more information on 4G/LTE hardware you can visit M2M Connectivity’s Website at http://m2mconnectivity.com.au/ or visit their LTE technology page at http://m2mconnectivity.com.au/technologies/lte

M2M One – November 2015 Newsletter

As we race towards the end of another year we have some exciting new happenings at M2M One to share with you all – M2M One is growing and we introduce you to our new Sales Manager, Gideon Borden. M2M One continue to remind all customers of the Telstra and Optus 2G/GSM network shutdowns. We offer some tips and advice on maximizing your data while minimizing your spend with M2M One with some bill analysis tips. Speak to Gideon or to one of our team about the shutdown or any questions you have about M2M One at Comms Connect 2015 in Melbourne next week.

This months newsletter features:

  1. Welcome – Gideon Borden, Sales Manager
  2. M2M One Bill Analysis – Tools & Tips
  3. M2M & IoT Trade Show – Comms Connect 2015
  4. Customer Reminder – Telstra 2G (GSM) 900MHz Shutdown

1. Welcome – Gideon Borden, Sales Manager

This month is an exciting time at M2M One as we welcome our brand new Sales Manager Gideon Borden to the team!

Gideon brings over 5 years of incredible M2M experience to the team with some deep knowledge around all the major networks in Australia and getting the most out of your solution. As well as a great vertical knowledge of M2M solutions Gideon also brings over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry to our team and will be happy to assist with any questions you might have around M2M/IoT & Telecomuncations in Australia.

For those of you in or traveling to Melbourne next week, Gideon will be joining myself and the M2M Team at Comms Connect 2015 if you want to say a warm hello. (Details below)

To contact Gideon Borden:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gborden
Email:     gideon.borden@m2mone.com.au
Mobile:   +434 770 771

2. M2M One Bill Analysis – Tools & Tips

M2M One automatically apply volume based discounts to all customers based on the amount of active services on a single plan at the end of calendar month – For example if you have 100 Active SIMs on the 3MB Group plan at the end of the month, you would automatically pay $4.19 instead of our standard $4.65.


To maximize your utilization and invoicing with M2M One we recommend, trying to keep as much consistency in your plans as possible, rather than having customers with 3MB, 5MB & 10MB CAP plans, you might find some benefit putting every single customer on a 5MB group plan and aggregating the data across your entire SIM fleet.

TIP – In the M2M One Control Centre you can use the “Billing” tab to look at your cumulative usage for previous billing months. To see if you would get better value using a group plan, you can simply divide the “Data Volume” column by “Services” this gives you an accurate average usage per device.

Please note: The “Total Charge” Column does not represent your spend with M2M One as it doesn’t incorporate discounts or credits applied on your M2M Invoice

If you need any support on looking at your data usage, spend or general control centre support contact M2M One at any time

3. Trade Show – Comms Connect 2015

M2M One will be joining M2M Connectivity exhibiting at Comms Connect 2015 in Melbourne on stand 138. Comms Connect Melbourne has been the number one meeting place for Australasian critical communications users and industry.

Where:  Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre
Exhibition Hours:  
Wed 2 Dec: 9.00am–6.00pm
                                Thu 3 Dec: 9.00am–3.30pm

This year, 80+ expert speakers, 90+ exhibitors and over 1400 professionals — from first responders to mining professionals, from utilities providers to enterprise end users, from manufacturers to developers — are expected to take part in this event.
For more information about Comms Connect and to register for a free expo pass for access to the Exhibition Hall on Wednesday and Thursday during opening hours and access to Keynote speakers on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

4. Reminder – Telstra 2G 900MHz Shutdown

We would like to continue to remind our customers that Telstra will discontinue their 2G/GSM network on the 1st of December 2016. This has implications for M2M One customers using 2G 900MHz GSM/GPRS modems.

You can view our official notification here

M2M One customers with 2G devices have the opportunity to utilize 3G and soon 4G LTE. All M2M One SIM cards are compatible with the Telstra 2G, 3G and soon 4G network so you will not need to physically change any SIM cards from M2M One.

M2MOne customers affected by the shut down of Telstra’s 2G/GSM network who are looking for solutions/alternatives for their 2G/GSM devices are advised to contact a 3G/4G LTE device vendor.
Please read M2M One’s notification of the shutdown if you haven’t already.

You can also read our blog on the Australian 2G Shutdown here

If you do not know if your devices will be affected by this please contact M2M One and we can help you.

M2M One – September 2015 Newsletter

M2M One is a proud sponsor of YOW! Connected, an innovative conference dedicated to the Internet of Things for developers. YOW! Connected is held in Melbourne on the 17-18th of September and we will be presenting IoT demonstrations by u-blox, ETM Pacific, Digi, and M2M Connectivity. More details about this event is in this newsletter, we hope to see you there. Telstra’s 2G network shutdown by December 1st 2016 and the Optus 2G network shutdown on the 1st April 2017 are part of a continuing trend of cellular network operators around the world shutting down their 2G networks and re-farming spectrum.Our blog this month looks at the options for transition from 2G networks.

This months newsletter features:

  1. Feature – M2M One Group Data Plans
  2. Blog – The State of 2G
  3. IoT Conference – Yow! Connected
  4. Reminder – Telstra 2G (GSM) 900MHz Shutdown

1. Feature – M2M One Group Data Plans

Did you know that M2M One offer two different types of data plan?

Our CAP data plan offers you a fixed amount of data per SIM – When a SIM reaches it’s limit it will be suspended until the following month or until the SIM is moved to a higher data plan. The CAP plan is a great way to avoid excess usage charges but doesn’t offer much flexibility for devices with varying usage profiles.

For customers with large fleets of devices we recommend the use of the M2M One Group Data Plans – Group data plans offer much more flexibility, allowing your SIMs to contribute to a variable pool of data. By aggregating your data across your entire fleet you can not only reduce your operating costs but also protect yourself against excess usage, while not having to worry about a SIM hitting it’s quota.

For more information on our M2M Data plans both CAP & Group  – Click Here

2. Blog – Preparing your business for the 2G/GSM network shut down in Australia

In this weeks M2M One blog we talk about the impending 2G shutdown in Australia, talk briefly about other markets going through the same thing and how it all came about.

We offer some tips for companies starting to think about making the jump from 2G to 3G or 4G/LTE and look in to cost effective upgrade paths for those of you who haven’t began a migration plan.

If you have any questions on 2G migration or around M2M network services on 3G or 4G LTE please contact M2M One on +61 3 9696 3011 or support@m2mone.com.au and we will point you in the right direction.

Read full blog here

3. IoT Conference – Yow! Connected

M2M One is a sponsor of YOW! Connected, a two day Conference connecting the world of Mobile development and the Internet of Things (IoT). Topics include native development for iOS and Android, the developing market for the IoT, UX & design, back end development and the review of several business case studies. YOW! Connected provides an opportunity for Australian developers to learn from local thought leaders and specially invited international experts through the sharing of experiences developing mobile solutions and devices for the connected world.

Date: 17 September  2015 to 18 September 2015 – 8:00am – 5:00pm
Place: Jasper Hotel, 489 Elizabeth St,  Melbourne      

Visit us at YOW! Connected and view M2M and IoT demonstrations on Libelium’s Open Garden, ublox’s mBed Concept Board, Gemalto’s M2M Concept Board & Digi International’s XBee ZigBee Cloud Kit & ConnectCore6 Dev Kit.

For more information and to register to attend, please click here.

4. Reminder – Telstra 2G 900MHz Shutdown

We would like to continue to remind our customers that Telstra will discontinue their 2G/GSM network on the 1st of December 2016. This has implications for M2M One customers using 2G 900MHz GSM/GPRS modems.

You can view our official notification here

M2M One customers with 2G devices have the opportunity to utilize 3G and soon 4G LTE. All M2M One SIM cards are compatible with the Telstra 2G, 3G and soon 4G network so you will not need to physically change any SIM cards from M2M One.

M2MOne customers affected by the shut down of Telstra’s 2G/GSM network who are looking for solutions/alternatives for their 2G/GSM devices are advised to contact a 3G/4G LTE device vendor.
Please read M2M One’s notification of the shutdown if you haven’t already.

If you do not know if your devices will be affected by this please contact M2M One and we can help you.

Preparing your business for the 2G/GSM network shut down in Australia

Preparing your business for the 2G/GSM network shut down in Australia

The current state of 2G/GSM Networks As many of you are probably aware, Cellular network operators around the world are planning to shut down their 2G networks to re-farm spectrum for more efficient 4G/LTE services. In the USA, AT&T plans to shut their 2G Network by January 1st 2017. Singapore is one of the first countries in the world to have all 2G networks shut down at once with M1, Starhub & Singtel announcing a joint shut down on April 1st, 2017. Here in Australia, Telstra’s 2G will be shut down on December 1st 2016, with Optus to following suit with their 2G network closure on 1st April 2017 and finally Vodafone Australia closing the remaining 2G network on 30th of September 2017 (Click here for more) Research firm Berg Insight theorize that globally 3G & 4G/LTE technologies will dominate cellular M2M communications by 2018. Pointing to the declining use of 2G by M2M developers in favor of 3G and 4G/LTE technologies, citing the greater reliability, coverage and speeds as the major drawing factor. LTE in particular delivers peak speeds of up to 100 Mbps allowing for faster transfers and better handling of more data intensive applications like video cameras or digital displays. The majority of mobile networks that are shutting down 2G have plans to re-farm spectrum for additional 4G/LTE network capacity. The business driver behind this decision is that it consolidates and makes more efficient use of their networks resulting in lower operating costs, fewer networks to support, and frees up spectrum for faster more lucrative services. So why is 2G so popular with M2M/IoT? The closure of 2G networks has the largest impact in the M2M space with an estimated 70% of M2M devices worldwide still utilizing 2G technologies. The major factor behind the prevalence of 2G devices in the M2M/IoT space is a simple one, cost. Not as simple are the factors that make up the costs behind an M2M device: Hardware Cost – The fact that 2G modems are less expensive than 3G modems should come as no surprise, it’s not very often that an older technology commands higher prices than it’s successor. The problem in the hardware space has compounded by the ‘Qualcomm tax’, due to the high volume of patents related to 3G owned by Qualcomm the price for 3G modules and modems has remained relatively static, and only recently as companies have got more economical with other elements and 4G/LTE development is ramping up, has the cost started to come down closer to 2G pricing. This has meant that a lot of businesses that probably should have been developing with 3G technology 2 or 3 years ago have put it off to avoid raising prices. The problem now is that businesses have a much shorter development time frame due to the impending 2G shut down. Lifecycle – M2M data needs are typically light compared to consumer applications that require the faster speeds and bandwidth of 3G and 4G/LTE so the lifecycle of a field device can be anywhere from 3-10 years compared to an average phone or tablet, which is replaced nearly yearly by most consumers. Upgrade costs – The nature of most M2M devices is that they are deployed in either very remote areas and connected to mobile assets, in countries with large remote areas like Australia the cost of sending a person out to upgrade or change a device can be in the thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars. Customer Perception – With customers conditioned to think that prices should come down over time, businesses working on a very thin margin have found themselves in a precarious position as the cost of deploying 3G increases their costs, but their customer base is unwilling to pay for what they feel is an ‘unnecessary’ upgrade. This has meant several businesses have decided to keep 2G technologies in place longer than their initial roadmap might have dictated. So where do we go from here? There is no doubt about it, with development times in M2M/IoT ranging from 6-18 months for new solutions. M2M system vendors in Australia need to make a decision now on the next iteration of their solution. While some companies are choosing the ‘mystery box’ and gambling on Vodafone Australia maintaining it’s 2G network, the majority of companies we work with across M2M One are looking at 3G & 4G/LTE upgrade paths. What are your upgrade options? Build vs. Buy – The first question you really need to ask yourself is whether you need to build a new product from scratch or if a solution already exists that can save you development time and cost. M2M-modules-image The problem with upgrading a 2G solution from a module level is that most 2G modules have a completely different form factor, where most major modules suppliers now keep a common form factor for 3G & 4G/LTE – This often leads to a complete redesign of your base board, which adds time and money to the upgrade. A lot of businesses that were early adopters of M2M/IoT from the 2G or even Circuit Switch Data (CSD) days had to develop their own solution, as nothing was available. Now we live in a time where M2M hardware has a level of standardization in terms of inputs and functionality meaning it may be cheaper and easier for businesses to go from building a solution from a board level upwards to perhaps buying an off the shelf finished modem or even a complete product and white labeling (this is becoming increasingly popular in the competitive vehicle tracking and telematics space). 2G to 3G – The most immediate fix for the majority of businesses is to make the jump from 2G to 3G. The good news is that the cost of developing a 3G M2M device has reduced considerably making the process slightly less painful. With quad and penta-band 3G modules on the market now, you can build a device that can be shipped anywhere in the world without having to worry about your base module. The major consideration here is the rapid growth of 4G/LTE, with coverage set to match and surpass 3G in the coming year a lot of people are questioning the long-term future of 3G, while none of the carriers are making any statements regarding this. We have been advising customers that if they plan to have a device in the field for 10 years or more they should be using 4G/LTE to be safe. 2G to 4G/LTE – As coverage grows the idea of leapfrogging 3G altogether and going with a pure 4G/LTE solution or a solution that is 4G/LTE with 3G fallback is looking like the most sensible path for a majority of solution providers. While a lot of M2M devices don’t need the added speed that comes with 4G/LTE the greater coverage, capacity and reliability of service is a huge draw. Several module manufactures and networks are discussing M2M specific operations on LTE Cat-0, a lower bandwidth M2M specific subset of LTE which will reduce both module and data costs. This isn’t to say 4G/LTE doesn’t bring it’s own difficulties along with it. While LTE modules are expected to drop in price much quicker than their 3G counterparts, they are still reasonably expensive compared to 2G. Another headache is the number of LTE bands currently being used; there are currently 32 LTE bands in use with 44 including LTE-TDD. There are currently no easily accessible modules on the market that will cover all LTE bands, which means deploying a global single SKU M2M device is currently impossible on LTE. Several countries have common bands making regional applications possible, but for a true global option your choices are limited. Where do I get started? The best place to get started is to speak to your supplier about upgrade paths, every module and modem supplier in Australia will be able to give you a number of options for upgrading your existing product and you might be pleasantly surprised by the ease and cost of some of these. If you don’t have contact with a supplier, most mobile network operators will be able to supply you with a list of approved hardware and integrators that can assist. Some may even assist with discounts, subsidies or consolidation of services as they want to minimize the number of 2G connections come shut down time. Of course M2M One are always here to help, we have connections to most of Australia’s leading M2M/IoT hardware providers and our team of M2M network experts can assist with helping you create an upgrade path that works for your business.

Did you find this information useful? Do you have some questions on the Australian Machine-to-Machine and Internet of Things market we can answer for you? Let us know on Twitter @M2MOneAU, on LinkedIn at M2M One or visit our website at www.m2mone.com.au.

James Mack

General Manager – M2M One

The views and opinions expressed in this blog site are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of M2M One or M2M Group.

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