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Tuesday, 28 September 2010 00:00

Telstra gears up for $1 billion M2M market


Telstra is making a big push into the machine-to-machine communications market; one that it says is worth $300m today and will be worth in excess of $1b in four years time.

It has launched a service that enables organisations wanting to incorporate Telstra SIMs into M2M devices to do so at minimal cost until these are activated by the end user, and to manage and monitor these SIMs via a web portal.

The actual service is being provided by Jasper Wireless, a US based company that operates the system under a software-as-a-service model for carriers around the world.

This system, branded the Telstra Wireless M2M Control Centre, will be offered in conjunction with a portal for M2M device manufacturers and service providers offering a suite of services including a developer kit, troubleshooting resources and an avenue to enable developers to offer their M2M solutions to Telstra's sales channels.

Mike Cihra, director wireless business applications in Telstra, said: "we want to have the lead role in machine-to-machine over the next couple of years. We see this opportunity as being very significant financially. Right now in Australia is it worth about $300m and we expect it to go north of $1b over the next four years."

However, he added: "The market is not without its challenges. In data terms it is very low ARPU for the operator, and it is very fragmented: we have billion dollar enterprises and four or five man software companies busy writing inventory and logistics software so that vending machines can send information back."

Even though M2M services do not generate significant ARPUs for operators, Cihra said: "M2M providers want to have a seamless connectivity experience. So what we need to offer them a self-service platform that enables them to self-manage their services, activate a SIM themselves in real time, and have visibility that this has happened." This, he said is the role that the Jasper Wireless platform will fulfil.


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The new partner portal, he said, would raise awareness among the M2M community that Telstra is the carrier of choice for their M2M services. "It will have full suite of services and capabilities for M2M companies to learn more about getting their devices connected to our network'¦We will be giving these companies the opportunities to start presenting solutions to our sales channels. And in turn our sales channels will be able to take these solutions to our customers."

John Paitaridis, executive director, network products and services, Telstra Enterprise and Government, said the Telstra Wireless M2M Control Centre would enable significant changes in the business model for M2M providers.

"An organisation can maintain as big a stock as they like of SIMs which are activation-ready but which are not billable to a client. They can then activate these in their own time and they only become billable when the customers activate them."

He added that the centre would also provide greatly improved diagnostics and service management. "Organisations can make a much more informed decision before they send a technician out into the field. That has not been available before."

Paitaridis said that Telstra would be charging and initial fee of $2 for SIM, then usage charges of $5 for 5MB per month per service. It will also offer plans where the data quota can be shared across multiple SIMs: $1500 per month for 30GB and $200 for 2GB. Each service is charged at $2 per month but there is no limit on the number of services that can share the data quota.

He added that, in the developer kit, Telstra would provide three tests SIMs each with 50MB and 50 SMS over a six month period for a one-off price of $199.


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