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M2M Requires Fusion of RF Technologies

The potentially boundless benefits of machine-to-machine communications (M2M) are still at odds with both expensive network transport and the exorbitant process of integrating M2M modules into the machines they will monitor, according to Strategy Analytics.

Their report affirms that while cellular is an inherent M2M enabler and has become more reliable, widespread and secure than ever, even the lowest achievable per-sensor price points over cellular alone will prove to be prohibitively costly for many applications. Unless short-range RF and mesh topologies are brought to bear, M2M will continue to be contained to select vertical markets.

Serving as the glue between disparate wireless networks and fragmented vertical software solutions, this report also concludes that M2M specialists, such as Airdesk and Aeris in the US and Wyless and Netsize in Europe, will play a key catalyzing role in orchestrating M2M solutions and spurring the next phase of adoption.

One potential major M2M pitfall is the lack of broad inter-industry cooperation between manufacturers of sensors, RF modules and the machines they will reside in. Without this, hardware integration and development will remain a prohibitively costly sticking point for M2M according to Strategy Analytics experts.

Cliff Raskind, Director, Global Wireless Practice, noted, "By 2011, as many as 110 million machines will directly or indirectly use a cellular connection for M2M. Despite the staggering theoretical potential of M2M across many verticals, cellular M2M will continue to demonstrate the best payback in Utilities, Retail, Transport/Logistics, Property Management and Healthcare in the short to medium term. The global ecosystem of cellular M2M revenues is poised to grow from $6 billion in 2005 to as much as $40 billion in 2011."

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