M2M One – January 2017 Newsletter

M2M One Newsletter – January 2017

Happy New Year and welcome to M2M One’s January 2017 Newsletter!

This month we’re looking at kicking off the new year with a new look newsletter, talking about the future of 2G networks in Australia, looking at issues arising from using public IP addressing on your devices and providing some tips to improve SIM security using the M2M Control Centre.

  • Australian 2G Networks

As most of you will be well aware of all Australian mobile networks are in the process of shutting down their 2G/GSM networks.

On December 1st 2016 Telstra completed their shutdown of the 2G (900Mhz) Mobile Network across Australia. This now leaves only the Optus and Vodafone networks available for 2G devices, with a view that all remaining 2G coverage will be closed and re-farmed for LTE by 30th September 2017.

To continue operating M2M/IoT devices on the M2M One/Telstra network in Australia you need to make sure that the device contains a module capable connecting to 850Mhz 3G and for optimal coverage 850/2100Mhz 3G (Devices only able to connect to 2100Mhz will not work effectively on the Telstra network, 850Mhz is a requirement for a 3G connection)

  • Public IP Address Issues

Throughout 2016 we have seen a significant increase in the amount of malicious occurring on M2M devices with IP addresses exposed to the public internet (Devices using telstra.extranet as their APN) – These attacks can range from port sniffing or DDoS activity that can significantly increase your mobile data usage to unsecured devices being hijacked or tampered with.

M2M One strongly advise all of our customers to avoid using public IP addressing at all costs – An alternative to using telstra.extranet is to use M2M One’s IPX service which provides a private static IP that can be accessed through a secure IPSEC connection – more details available on our blog (click here)

If for some reason you absolutely have to use a public IP address we recommend taking the following actions to protect yourself:

  • Change the default username and password for any access interfaces on your device.
  • Work with M2M One to set-up limits and notifications on your SIM cards to be notified of increased activity.
  • Don’t leave your device online when idle.
  • If you notice malicious activity force your device to change it’s IP address by restarting or terminating the session.

M2M One’s first event of 2017 will be Connect Expo in Melbourne – Running from the 29th to 30th of March. Details available at: http://connectexpo.com.au/

Each month we bring you tips and tricks for getting the most value out of the M2M Control Centre.
SIM Security

This month we look at adding more security to your SIM deployment using some of the alerts and automation rules available in the control centre.

IMEI Change – When a device first connects to the control centre the IMEI information is automatically populated. M2M One can establish a rule that will either notify by email or suspend a service if this IMEI changes at any point. This can be useful to protect your SIMs from misuse in other devices.

Usage Alerts – M2M One can set-up alerts to notify or suspend a service for excessive use of Data, SMS or Voice functionality. This can be useful to protect you against overage or to alert you of possible misuse or malfunction.

Roaming Usage – By default all M2M One SIMs have roaming disabled by default, however there are cases where you may need roaming added to a SIM to test overseas. M2M One can set-up alerts for high usage or registration in an unauthorized zone when roaming is enabled to protect you against high roaming fees.

At present all new rules and alerts need to be created and applied on your behalf by M2M One support (support@m2mone.com.au) while Jasper complete upgrade works on the automation section of the control centre.
Have more questions about the M2M Control Centre or want some training?
Contact your M2M One account manager

M2M One – December 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to M2M One’s December Newsletter.

As 2016 draws to a close we’d like to thank our customers, partners and peers for a great year and wish you all every success in 2017.

In December we look at the aftermath of Telstra’s 2G shutdown and what the future has in store for remaining 2G devices in Australia, advise you of our operating hours over Christmas & New Years, offer some tips on managing your devices through the M2M One Control Centre and a reminder about our new data plans and features.

This month’s newsletter features:

  1. Notification – M2M One Operating Hours – Christmas & New Year
  2. 2G Update – Post-Telstra 2G Shutdown information
  3. M2M Control Centre – Managing Devices
  4. Pricing & Features – M2M One SIM Cards and Data Plans

1. Notification M2M One Operating Hours – Christmas & New Year

m2m-one-christmas-hours

Christmas & New Years Operating Hours
 
M2M One Office Closes – 5:00pm Thursday 22nd December 2016
M2M One Office Re-Opens – 8:30am Tuesday 3rd January 2017
SIM Orders & Dispatch

Cut-Off for SIM Orders – 2:00pm Thursday 22nd December 2016
SIM Orders Re-commence – Tuesday 3rd January 2017

 

SIM orders can be placed by e-mailing orders@m2mone.com.au

Telstra & M2M One Network Embargo

Embargo begins – Friday 16th December 2016
Embargo ends – Monday 9th January 2017
While the network embargo is in effect M2M One are unable to process any new orders for Static IP or VPN services (IPX) or make any network level changes on existing VPN Tunnels/Clients.

2. 2G Update Post Telstra 2G Shut-Down Information

aus-2g-shutdown-image-v4

Australian 2G Shutdown
 

On December 1st 2016 Telstra completed their shutdown of the 2G (900Mhz) Mobile Network across Australia. This now leaves only the Optus and Vodafone networks available for 2G devices, with a view that all remaining 2G coverage will be closed and re-farmed for LTE by 30th September 2017.

To continue operating M2M/IoT devices on the M2M One/Telstra network in Australia you need to make sure that the device contains a module capable connecting to 850Mhz 3G and for optimal coverage 850/2100Mhz 3G (Devices only able to connect to 2100Mhz will not work on the Telstra network, 850Mhz is a requirement for a 3G connection)

To learn more about the Australian 2G shutdown and to prepare your Optus & Vodafone devices for their shut-down next year, you can read our blog at – https://www.m2mone.com.au/preparing-your-business-for-the-2g-gsm-network-shut-down-in-australia/

3. M2M Control Centre – Managing Devices

M2M One provides all of our customers with access to the CISCO Jasper M2M Control Centre, whether you have a single SIM or 10,000 this online portal can help you manage your SIM fleet in real-time as well as monitor data usage.
When you create your account with M2M One at https://www.m2mone.com.au/get-connected/ and our accounts team has approved the application you will get an email with your login credentials to the M2M Control Centre – If you still don’t have access please email accounts@m2mone.com.au
When you log into the system you have the ability to:
  • Activate/Deactivate SIM cards
  • Edit End User/ Cost Centre details for individual customers
  • Add and edit up to 5 additional custom fields that can be stored against each of your SIMs
  • Diagnose and monitor data usage, network connectivity and activity in real-time
  • All changes can be made through the portal GUI or in bulk by uploading a spreadsheet

You will need to contact M2M One support to:

  • Change Rate Plan or APN on a SIM
  • Configure Alerts & Rules on SIMs (This is temporary, until the feature is re-activated for customers in 2017)
For more detailed information and instructions on how to manage your SIM fleet visit – https://www.m2mone.com.au/m2m-downloads/manuals/M2M-One-Control%20Centre-Customer-Admin-Guide-May-2015.pdf

4. Pricing & Features – M2M One SIM Cards and Data Plans

M2M One recently went through a review and re-pricing of a majority of our M2M data plans – You can view our latest pricing at https://www.m2mone.com.au/m2m-downloads/Pricing/M2M-One-Australian-Price-List.pdf
 
With this pricing change we thought it would be a good time to talk about the two types of plans offered by M2M One.
 
M2M Individual Data (CAP) Plans 
  • Each SIM has a fixed allowance of data, when this data is exhausted the SIM will be suspended until the plan is moved to a higher allowance or reset in the next billing month. 
  • Ideal for solutions that need a fixed cost and fixed allowance of data – i.e consumer IoT products.
M2M Group Data (Shared) Plans
  • Each SIM on the same rate plan contributes it’s data to a shared pool (For example, 10x 50MB SIMs gives you a 500MB pool of data) 
  • If your total usage is above your pooled allowance the SIMs will begin to generate excess charges for the month – However M2M One can help you mitigate this by moving the SIMs to a more cost effective plan before the last day of the calendar month.
  • M2M One can provide a daily email digest of pooled plan usage for maximum visibility.
  • Group data plans are ideal for all business critical M2M Solutions.
As part of our service to all customers we work with you to maximize your data utilization while minimizing your monthly recurring costs, our team of M2M specialists can help you analyze and review your usage and spend each month to make sure you are making the most from your SIM fleet.
Star Gazing – 5 Predictions for M2M & IoT Trends in 2016

Star Gazing – 5 Predictions for M2M & IoT Trends in 2016

Alright so we’re a couple of weeks into 2016 so I think I’m still within the prediction grace period? If you haven’t already you can read my review of 2015 on our blog and see how my predictions from 2015 stacked up.

Last year I was fairly bullish on specific change, and that didn’t really pan out for me… This year I’m going with slightly broader strokes.

So here are my predictions for things we can expect to see in M2M/IoT in 2016, have at it:

edge computing vs cloud computing iot and m2m

A battle for the ages… – EDGE © WWE

  1. Edge Computing vs Cloud – You may have heard the term Edge Computing start to be thrown around last year, you might have even heard someone use the term FOG computing (and if you were anything like me your head immediately hit the desk). Edge computing is the concept of putting the intelligence, processing and decision making power into the device sitting at the edge of the network.
    Typically, modems/remote devices can be seen as ‘dumb’, they simply collate data from various sensors and send it back to a central server or more recently to a cloud environment for processing and decision making.
    Edge computing wants to change this by empowering the device to make decisions as soon as the data is received.
    Reducing the latency and ‘time to act’ significantly benefits autonomous or critical applications like the increasing swarms of drones and unmanned safety units being developed for agriculture and emergency applications like forest fires.
    The other benefit to processing on the edge is that it theoretically reduces the amount of data sent back over a wireless network, a device might alert someone that it is taking an action or has completed an action rather than sending a request to act, waiting for a response, then acting.
    The debate is still in its early days with proponents on both sides arguing the benefits and drawbacks, but I have a feeling we’ll see a lot more coverage of edge computing in 2016.

    LPWAN M2M and IoT

    Some of the major LPWAN players you’ll see in 2016

  2. LPWAN on the rise – 2015 saw Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) firmly insert themselves into the IoT networking conversation. Last year France’s SIGFOX secured over $100 million in funding and announced expansion plans in the USA & Australia arguably putting themselves at the forefront of the LPWAN movement, but the LoRA Alliance & Weightless SIG are also poised to make a disruptive splash in Low Power Communications.
    Australia has it’s very own Sigfox deployer Thinxtra who will be rolling out pilot sites soon. Telstra are also looking at LPWAN with a pilot in Melbourne CBD and we expect a number of LoRA alliance deployers to be hot on their heels.
    Expect more conversation and visibility of LPWAN networks in 2016 but there is still a fair amount of consolidation & brand building to be done before we reach peak LPWAN penetration.

    iot and m2m cellular decisions

    Where do we go from here? – Parks & Recreation © NBC Universal

  3. Cellular Flux – Expect the 2G/3G/4G debate to continue to rage on in 2016 with AT&T and Telstra both poised to hit the button at the end of the year with Optus and all of Singapore’s cellular providers aiming to do the same in early 2017.
    In the operator space I can see a few scenarios happening:

    • More networks announce their 2G shutdown dates – As alternative technologies become more affordable and solution providers in some parts of the world are inevitably forced to make the change, I can see more operators feeling comfortable with pulling their 2G networks.
    • LTE leapfrogging – With a strong established base of 2G hardware in Europe I can see some operators taking the Telenor approach and shutting down 3G prior to 2G in a long term effort to consolidate everything under LTE (Read about Telenor’s 3G 2020 shutdown here) It’s a smart approach as it buys more time for operators who are still rolling out LTE base stations and fine tuning coverage and it allows their customers to continue planning and designing boards without being forced into a 3G device that may not last as long as they hope.
    • Opportunistic 2G grabs – We’ve already seen M2M/IoT MVNOs making any deal they can to squeeze more life out of 2G in the USA with Vodafone still not announcing in Australia I’m wondering if we won’t see the same here. There is even talk of some independent operators/MVNOs buying old hardware and spectrum to keep 2G alive for M2M. It’s a short term gain for a decent outlay but with Asia and Europe still churning out cheap 2G hardware it may pay off.

In the hardware space 2016 there is still some juggling of frequency bands to get the right products for multiple markets together. Most customers we work with are waiting patiently for hardware compatible with Band 28 (700Mhz) which will offer the greatest LTE coverage on Telstra’s 4GX network the successor to their Next-G 3G offering.
With Telstra’s 2G shutdown looming we’ve already seen customers in Australia testing heavily with LTE in the hopes of getting everything ready to bypass 3G entirely.

Iridium Next

Irdium NEXT coming to an orbit near you in 2016…

  1. Satellite – 2015 was a relatively quiet year for M2M/IoT over satellite, expect this to change in 2016.
    Iridium will be launching their first run of satellites for their Iridium Next constellation partnering with US space exploration heartthrobs SpaceX and Russian organization Kosmotras. With SpaceX delivering a very successful launch for Orbcomm last year, Matt Desch and the Iridium team should be feeling positive. While Next isn’t scheduled to be fully operational until 2017 the increased noise and conversation around Iridium is sure to spark renewed interest in M2M/IoT applications using satellite, especially those with global implications.
    As cellular operators continue to struggle with global roaming arrangements, pricing and interconnects we are seeing lots of customers with low bandwidth global solutions opt for the satellite route. With services like Iridium’s SBD and Inmarsat/Skywave’s IDP, companies who want a solution that will work out of the box anywhere in the world without having to deal with roaming contracts, excess usage and coverage issues are finding more and more uses for satellite as the cost for hardware and airtime comes down.
iot and m2m facepalm

Face meet palm – Star Trek Next Generation © CBS

  1. Terminology – With several major organizations already making steps to remove M2M from their corporate lexicon and replace it with IoT could we have finally settled on a term for this nebulous new technology?
    The writing has been on the wall for M2M for some time now, the term is already seen by most as an “insider term” only really used by those in the industry and not something that needs to be on customer facing marketing. To the customer this connected world and everything in it is IoT. Sure some of the major players will still try and make my palm connect with my forehead by rolling out IoE, IoYT & IIoT but now we’re starting to see job titles incorporating IoT, I think we are fairly safe to say we’ve decided on a term.
    Maybe I should be filing this one under hope rather than prediction, but could 2016 finally be the year we stop with all the pointless acronyms and corporate marketing terms and just call things what they are?
    In the solutions space I’ve already started to see a move away from using “smart”, “e-“ & the dreaded “i” prefixes for products. Does anyone really use the term smart-phone anymore? It’s just a phone, they’re all smart by definition now. Likewise we’ll start to see IoT products go from being Smart Thermostats, to just being thermostats as the technology becomes commonplace.

And there you have it – My 5 predictions for M2M/IoT in 2016! Do you think these are more likely than my 2015 predictions? I’d love to hear what you think, 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 are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of M2M One or M2M Group.

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.

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