This morning saw the birth of an M2M alliance spanning vast, yet still quite incomplete global coverage. Seven mobile operators have teamed up for M2M cooperation in coming years: KPN, NTT Docomo, Rogers, SingTel, Telefonica, Telstra, and Vimpelcom.
The idea is to develop a globally accepted M2M solution aimed at multinational customers and to thereby promote the development of this new market generally. They hope to standardize on a single SIM with centralized management and control, amongst other things.
Of course, the other part of the idea is to counterbalance the influence of the mobile operators with a larger existing presence in the multinational corporate market that have been making substantial M2M noise lately: Orange, T-Systems, AT&T, Sprint, etc.
The membership of today's list is not exclusive, but rather is open to other operators. It had better be, as one can note the coverage of the founding seven members misses out entirely on the rather key markets of the USA, China, and India.
Analysts are forecasting that M2M will become a giant part of telecom over the next decade. But at the moment the potential M2M market is mostly still theoretical and, to be honest, consists mostly of vaporware products. I suppose now that the cloud is taking on a less foggy form, we need another buzzword to remind us of the future without getting too specific.
There's obviously boundless potential in machines talking to machines over global wireless networks, but ten years is a long, long time in this business. I wonder what M2M will look like in just three.