M2M announcements galore: Telefonica agreement with China Unicom, MTN launches telemetry unit and Vimpelcom opens M2M management centre

Blimey. Lots of M2M-related announcements recently.

Telefonica has announced an agreement with #2 Chinese carrier China Unicom to collaborate "along the entire value chain, from the development of standards to the joint development of end to end M2M vertical products and the commercialisation of solutions". Press release here. An interesting move from Telefonica following their recent M2M tie-up with Etisalat that I blogged about back in July. Yet more evidence that MNOs are seeking to form global blocs to take advantage of the M2M opportunities which are, to a large degree, global.

African MNO MTN will be focusing a lot more attention on telemetry as a strong growth opportunity. Coverage of this on M2M World News here, including an interesting stat on Vodacom's 700,000 M2M connections. Based on the work that we at Machina Research have done this is largely around stolen vehicle tracking in South Africa, covered in our report Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communication in the Automotive Sector 2010-20.

Not to be ignored, Russia's Vimpelcom has launched an M2M management centre. OK, so this was news from last week but I'm only just picking it up. Very brief details here.

So it seems that everyone is interested in getting in on the M2M act. Understandable given that it's a EUR714 billion opportunity globally by 2020, with 12 billion connections, as described by Machina Research only last week. Those figures are based on our recently completed Connected Intelligence forecast database which provides 10 year forecasts across 54 countries and 60 applications for connections, revenue and traffic. We think it's the most comprehensive set of data on the emerging M2M market opportunity. If you'd like to know more about how you can get access to the database, send me an email.

The announcements show that MNOs are rightly realising that M2M is not just about carrying more data traffic (of which there won't be much). It's about adding value, so all this interest in competence centres and focusing on solutions is the right approach. In November Machina Research will be publishing our M2M CSP Benchmarking Report examining the capabilities of the major M2M service providers and identifying their capabilities across different sectors and geographies. Based on this we will be able to identify for each potential end customer who the best M2M option would be. We will also be able to identify who we expect to be the most successful M2M players in the next 10 years. Get in contact if you'd be interested to know more.