Author: Deepak Sharma, Senior Hardware Engineer
This recipe aims to cook up a basic understanding of M2M for first-timers. M2M (Machine to Machine) technology refers to the wireless connection and communication between machines and the informatics department of a business. M2M can drastically increase efficiency and can also provide a critical competitive advantage, and applications include automotive, logistics, metering, remote monitoring, and more.
The Key Ingredients:
These are usually businesses that see the need to utilize M2M technology to improve efficiency or gain a competitive advantage. In the case of Geotab, customers are owners of large and small fleets of automobiles who want to leverage on the data provided by M2M devices and platforms to improve their businesses.
Machines are owned by customers. These might be automobiles, metering instruments, monitoring equipment, etc. In general, a machine would have a port to input/output data.
M2M SERVICE PROVIDERS
These are companies that provide the technology, the device and also the data analytics platform that enables the customers to increase their business efficiency.
These are owned by the M2M Service Provider and are M2M enabled. They connect to the machine port and use RF modules to transmit/receive data to or from the informatics center.
These are RF circuits which provide connectivity to the device. In the case of the Geotab GO device, it uses a GPS module to collect locational data as well as a Cellular module to transmit/receive data over the cellular network. Cellular modules come in different flavours – 2G, 3G and CDMA modules are commonly used.
DATA ANALYTICS PLATFORM
This is provided by the M2M Service Provider and enables the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data that is collected from the machines. This allows the customer to get critical insights into the usage of machines in their business and to effectively control and improve machine usage.
MNOs (Mobile Network Operators)
These are the cellular operators in the country of operation who regulate/support the connection of M2M devices on their networks.
- Take one Customer and pre-heat with new opportunities opened up by M2M technology.
- To the Customer add a large number of Machines which are to be connected through M2M technology (more machines make the recipe more effective).
- Take one Service Provider who has the capability of enabling M2M technology.
- To the Service Provider add Devices (with RF Modules in them). The RF Modules should have a flavor suitable for the Customer and MNO (2G/3G/CDMA).
- Boil (test) the Devices in the MNO’s network until it gets the MNO’s approval for use on their network.
- To the Service Provider and Devices add a Data Analytics Platform and whisk together until a nice blend (product) is achieved.
- Now, mix the Customer with the Service Provider and stir gently until business agreements are formed.
- Next, wait as the Devices get attached to the Customer’s Machines, M2M technology gets enabled, and large amounts of data are released.
- Share the M2M pie between the Customer, Service Provider and MNO. The Customer gets large servings of data, while the Service Provider and MNO each get a helping of revenue for the goods and services provided.
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