M2M essentially refers to ICT applications in various sectors to combine industrialization with informatization. Real-time measurement and smart control are conducted to achieve the objectives of efficiency improvement, cost reduction, security/safety guarantee, energy saving and environment protection, scientific decision-making, and quick response.

From the perspective of telecom operators, M2M is a machine-to-machine communications solution for group customers that is industry- and device-specific and that takes SMS/USSD/CDMA/GRPS as its ways of access. It satisfies customer needs for IT applications in production process monitoring/control, scheduling, remote data collection and measurement, and remote diagnosis.

Opportunities & challenges

Today, the development of M2M faces challenges in the following three aspects.

First, there are complex and diversified standards, which are the foundation for industries to grow into big ones. M2M involves numerous sectors such as the smart home, smart power grid, electronic medical care, intelligent buildings, and intelligent transportation. Every sector comes with complex and diversified standards. Moreover, industry standards differ from country to country. From the perspective of the standards organizations related to communications, the international ones like 3GPP, IEEE, ETSI, ITU and IETF as well as local ones in China like CCSA and CESI are all researching and developing M2M-related standards.

Second, the overall transformation toward smart applications comes with high costs and needs a new business model. Take the smart control over streetlamps in the United States for example. The cost of each lamp is USD232, which is very costly for a company. In such cases, companies need an innovative business model. For instance, the government may subsidize the streetlamp modification into smart ones in a certain contract period.

Third, the industry chain is complex and needs a powerful integrator. Take the intelligent transportation in the EU for example. The central service system includes the transportation information provision, public transit priority, vehicle operation management, environmental protection, safe driving assistance, emergency reporting, emergency vehicle priority, dynamic path guide and integrated intelligent image systems, which involve areas such as transportation, environmental protection, public security, insurance, vehicle manufacturing and vehicle safety/maintenance. How to coordinate and integrate all the systems and areas around vehicles? The entire industry chain is expecting a powerful integrator.

Our Solutions

Huawei positions itself as an M2M communications solution provider in the M2M sector. Before the emergence of massive M2M applications, Huawei will first analyze the impact of M2M on operators’ networks and output corresponding solutions in order to guarantee the highest efficiency and lowest cost when a large number of M2M devices access the underlying telecom networks.

Huawei keeps a close eye on M2M standards by taking critical positions in multiple workgroups, and actively develops proposals and promotes their standardization. Huawei reduces the costs of relevant communications products in M2M systems while participating actively in and promoting the establishment of industry alliances, thereby contributing to the maturity and development of the M2M sector with industry partners.

Related Article

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M2M communications is expanding rapidly and generating significant revenues for mobile network operators. Yet, to take a more direct role in the value chain, there are underlying challenges that should be addressed.
Issue 23(08/2015)