M2M One at the 23rd World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS 2016)

M2M One at the 23rd World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS 2016)

img_1820M2M One were excited and privileged to be selected as one of 20 Victorian ICT companies to exhibit as part of the VIC Government Pavilion at ITS World Congress 2016 in Melbourne

The show was an information-packed 5 days of talks, demonstrations and presentations on the future of Smart Cities, Infrastructure and Transportation.

The most exciting thing for us was the sheer number of solutions that rely on using wireless communications, sensors and other Internet of Things technologies to bring efficiency to both public and private transportation infrastructure.

See below for some of our photos from the event:

 

 

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.

M2M One – June 2015 Newsletter

This month we’re excited to announce the availability of the 4G/LTE service on M2M One SIM Cards as just one of the initiatives recently introduced to better serve our customers. These include last month’s upgrade of customer control and functionality for M2M deployments through the customised use of the M2M Control Centre, and the reduced pricing on SMS, Data and Static IP Services. Supporting M2M One’s commitment to educating and helping new entrants to M2M/IoT, we share news of our exciting collaboration with ATrack and information in our first blog of M2M 101 tips. After a successful exhibition at CommunicAsia in Singapore last month as part of the State Government of Victoria’s trade delegation, we’re gearing up for Security 2015 in July. See the details and free registration below.

This months newsletter features:

  1. Notification – 4G/LTE Service now available on M2M One SIM Cards
  2. Blog – M2M Tips – Public IP vs Private IP – Addressing for M2M/IoT Devices
  3. Exhibition – Security Exhibition and Conference 2015 – Melbourne
  4. News – ATrack and M2M One Collaboration
  5. Reminder – Telstra 2G (GSM) 900MHz Shut Down

1. Notification – 4G/LTE Service now available on M2M One SIM Cards

We are pleased to announce that as of the 22nd of June 2015, M2M One can now offer 4G/LTE service through our SIM cards as well as the existing 3G & 2G (Telstra 2G will be shut down on December 1st 2016) connectivity. Also as of today, 4G/LTE is now available on all M2M One & Telstra APN configurations.

M2M One 4G/LTE Service Information:

  • 4G/LTE is available to all M2M One customers at no additional cost.
  • 4G/LTE will work on all existing M2M One SIM cards, there is no need for a replacement.
  • 4G/LTE is now available on all M2M One & Telstra APN configurations
  • 4G/LTE is not currently enabled by default and must be requested by emailing support@m2mone.com.au

To utilize 4G/LTE your device must be compatible with the following 4G frequency bands:

  • B3 – 1800Mhz (Main operating frequency)
  • B28 – 700Mhz (Main operating frequency)
  • B1 – 2100Mhz (Optional fallback frequency)
  • B7 – 2600Mhz (Optional fallback frequency)
  • B8 – 900Mhz (Optional fallback frequency)

If you have any questions regarding servicefrom M2M One, the M2M Control Centre, M2M SIM Pricing 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. Blog – M2M Tips – Public IP vs Private IP – Addressing for M2M/IoT Devices

Part of a series of tips to developers looking to get into the M2M/IoT space, this first blog looks at IP address allocation for M2M/IoT devices.

Our blog looks at the costs and implications of the following options:

Public Internet Access via NAT with dynamic private addressing which utilizes common carrier APNs. The IP address of the SIM is hidden behind the networks firewall so the device can’t be addressed directly across the public internet, which means all devices with this setup need to initiate a communication session with the host service/client.

Public Internet Access with dynamic public IP is a popular solution that also uses the public Internet over a common APN but allocating a publicly addressable IP address instead that usually changes with each new session.

Private Static IP Addressing uses completely static addressable IPs from an IP range on a private APN allowing devices to be given their own unchanging IP address that is extremely secure. Methods of getting in to the private IP space are via a VPN tunnel or by using a centrally allocated router configured on that IP space to talk to all other devices in the field.

Read the full blog here.

3. Exhibition – M2M One at Security 2015

The Security Exhibition and Conference celebrates 30 years of security innovation in Melbourne next month. Australasia’s premier security event, Security 2015 is a forum for security professionals, end users and those in allied industries to meet experts, network with peers and view and compare innovative security products and solutions. M2M One is pleased to be exhibiting at Security 2015 on stand H48.

Date:           15 – 16 July 2015     9:30am – 5pm
17 July 2015            9;30am – 2pm
Place:         Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Stand:         H48

Visit us to discuss M2M/ioT connectivity solutions and view products from M2M Connectivity’s range of satellite products suited to security applications.

Admission is for trade professionals only and there is no charge to visit the exhibition.
For more information and to register for free entry to Security 2015 please click here.

For information about other shows M2M One are exhibiting at click here

4. News – ATrack and M2M One collaboration

ATrack and M2M One collaborate to provide 3G services to telematics and tracking customers throughout Australia.

M2M One recently announced a new partnership with leading Taiwanese hardware manufacturer ATrack Technology Inc. ATrack is one of the first round of companies to be part of M2M One’s new partnership program. The program is focused on creating a network of hardware, software and solution providers that can help new entrants into the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) space develop and grow their business quickly.
ATrack & M2M One are collaborating to support businesses in Australia that are adopting 3G hardware to benefit from the larger coverage area and higher throughput. These benefits coupled with the uncertain future of 2G networks and the shut down of Telstra’s 2G network on December 1st 2016 have driven companies to push their migration from 2G telematics devices to 3G quicker than anticipated.

The ultilization of ATrack’s complete product line of quality 3G devices is simplified by M2M One services
by providing complete access to the 3G network and a suite of management and diagnostic tools for companies to manage their fleet of M2M SIM Cards.

Read the full press release here.

5. Reminder – Telstra 2G 900MHz Shutdown

We would like 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.

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.

Press Release – M2M One and ATrack Technology collaborate to provide 3G services to telematics and tracking customers throughout Australia

Press Release – M2M One and ATrack Technology collaborate to provide 3G services to telematics and tracking customers throughout Australia

Melbourne, Australia – June 18, 2015:

M2M One is pleased to announce a new partnership with leading Taiwanese hardware manufacturer ATrack Technology Inc. ATrack is one of the first round of companies to be part of M2M One’s new partnership program. The program is focused on creating a network of hardware, software and solution providers that can help new entrants into the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) space develop and grow their business quickly.

ATrack& M2M One are collaborating to support businesses in Australia that are adopting 3G hardware to benefit from the larger coverage area and higher throughput. These benefits coupled with the uncertain future of 2G networks and the shut down of Telstra’s 2G network on December 1st 2016 have driven companies to push their migration from 2G telematics devices to 3G quicker than anticipated.

From the launch of its first 3G product in December 2010, ATrack now offers a complete product line of 3G devices that have been deployed globally. The range includes the AK7 and 3G GPS/GLONASS trackers for fleet management and advanced telematics, AL7 3G GPS Motorcycle tracker, and AX9 3G OBDII / J1939 Plug & Play tracker.

Supported by Australia’s largest mobile network, M2M One services simplify the utilization of ATrack devices by providing complete access to the 850/2100Mhz 3G network, as well as a suite of management and diagnostic tools for companies to manage their fleet of M2M SIM Cards.

“We’re excited to be working with ATrack in Australia. We already provide connectivity to a number of their customers so a closer relationship is going to be beneficial for both organizations.” said James Mack, General Manager of M2M One. “One of the biggest hurdles for any business entering the M2M and IoT market is the wealth of options available. Through our partnership program we’re hoping to give customers a ‘one-stop shop’ for information on hardware, software and connectivity, and as our program grows we’re looking forward to working with more quality hardware manufactures like ATrack to make sure our customers can reduce their development costs by working with established, proven solutions.”

As part of the partnership arrangement M2M One are offering free trial SIMs to ATrack customers in Australia who want to test their 3G device and a discount on SIM card fees for any customers who want to migrate their existing 2G fleet.

M2MOneLogo

 

 

 

About M2M One

M2M One is one of Australia’s leading providers of device connectivity services, catering exclusively to the Machine to Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) market. Our goal is to help our customers and partners accelerate development and manage deployment of their connected devices. All of our services are backed by a world class online Control Centre and operate on Australia’s largest mobile network, offering M2M devices the greatest reliability, coverage and speed available.(www.m2mone.com.au)

ATrack

 

 

About ATrack

ATrack specializes in telematics hardware designing and manufacturing. Our core R&D team has over 10 years of industry experience, and our products have been deployed in various operating environments worldwide. ATrack has also been particularly successful at performing user-specific firmware and hardware customizations to help our clients win projects in this dynamic market. Through our continuous commitment to the industry and providing unmatched level of responsiveness, we have been recognized as one of the most reliable hardware partners. (www.atrack.com.tw)

M2M One – May 2015 Newsletter

As a part of M2M One’s initiative to find ways to improve our services to help our customers, we are pleased to announce reduced pricing on SMS, Data and Static IP Services. Information on the new reduced pricing and PAYG and bundled packages for outbound Voice are included in this newsletter. Our busy trade show schedule looks set to continue with M2M One exhibiting at CommunicAsia in Singapore early next month. We’re proud to be part of the State Government of Victoria’s trade delegation at this event which aims to showcase the depth and talent of the state’s ICT industry. Connect Expo in Melbourne and CeBIT in Sydney were successful events overall. Read our thoughts, including the good and the not-so-good, on both events in our featured blogs.

This months newsletter features:

  1. Notification – Reducing Pricing – SMS, Data and Static IP Services
  2. Blog – Thoughts on Connect Expo and CeBIT 2015
  3. Exhibition – CommunicAsia 2015 – Singapore
  4. Reminder – Telstra 2G (GSM) 900MHz Shut Down

1. Notification – Reduced Pricing – SMS, Data and Static IP Services

M2M One are constantly working with our carrier partners to be able to offer competitive pricing that helps you to reduce your costs and maintain and grow your business. We are now able to offer reduced pricing on SMS, Data and Static IP Services as well as the ability to provision outbound voice in PAYG and bundled packages.

For existing customers the new pricing will take effect as of June 1st 2015.  This new pricing applies immediately for new customers and you can take advantage of it by signing up at our website.

Price Reduction Details:
SMS Pricing – Our overall price for Outbound SMS has dropped from $0.25 to $0.20 and volume discounts are now applicable for all SMS messages sent in a billing month. This discount is unique as it applies to your whole M2M One account not an individual SIM.

CAP & Group Data – We’ve made some small adjustments to our volume based discounts on data including a larger discount for customers with over 250 SIMs on a single plan and some small adjustments across all plans.

Static IP Services – In accordance with recent customer feedback we have simplified our pricing model for IPX services to make the cost of entry lower and the ability to achieve discounts at scale quicker.

M2M One Voice Service:

  • M2M One are now able to provision outbound voice on SIMs using the “telstra.m2m” and “telstra.internet” APNs – We will soon be adding it to our private “m2mone.com.au” APN.
  • Voice is available as a PAYG component on all plans and is billed per second.
  • Voice can also be purchased in monthly bundles of 1 minute or 10 minutes.
  • Discounts apply to the number of SIMs on a single data plan with voice.

If you have any questions regarding service from M2M One, the M2M Control Centre, M2M Pricing 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. Blog – Thoughts on Connect Expo and CeBIT 2015

M2M One’s most recent blogs review the two main ICT trade shows held this year. From an M2M/IoT exhibitor’s perspective, we present our thoughts on each event in terms of layout, exhibitors. trade show attendance and the effectiveness of the M2M/IoT specific summits and conferences.

In its second year running, Connect Expo 2015 held in Melbourne is improving. The case studies showing practical uses for M2M/IoT was a highlight in the IoT summit, a forum where presentations more often than not tend to be general. Acknowledging the growing importance of M2M/IoT in the ICT space with a dedicated area, Connect Expo will continue this focus with a larger dedicated layout planned for next year.

CeBIT 2015 in Sydney continues to fall short in this regard with a lack of M2M/IoT focus.  Seemingly smaller this year, with fewer M2M/IoT companies exhibiting, we also wonder whether CeBIT’s Olympic Park venue was having this effect.   Hannover Fairs brand new staff are listening to feedback and assure us that 2016 would finally bring an M2M specific area and focus to the CeBIT. The Start-Up section and university technology displays with exciting new developments gets a big tick and so does the conference sessions which CeBIT always does well in organising content.

Read the full blog on Connect 2015 here.
Read the full blog on CeBIT 2015 here.

3. Exhibition – M2M One at CommunicAsia 2015

CommunicAsia is Asia’s largest integrated ICT exhibitiion where key executives from the ICT industry congregate to network, create new business opportunities and help shape industry trends.  M2M One is pleased to be part of a trade mission organised by the Victorian government and will be exhibiting on the State Government of Victoria’s stand BN2-07.

Date:           2 – 5 June 2015
Place:         Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Stand:         BN2-07

Admission is for trade professionals only and there is no charge to visit the exhibition. Admission to the Summit is subject to registration and fees payable.To register for a visitor badge to visit the exhibition, you can do so online before show days, or at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore on show days (2 – 5 June 2015) with your business card.

For more information and to register for free entry to CommunicAsia 2015 please click here.

4. Reminder – Telstra 2G 900MHz Shutdown

We would like 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.

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.

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