The rise of the M2M technology

Modern machine-to-machine (M2M) communication has expanded beyond one-to-one connections and evolved into a system of networks transmitting data to personal devices.

Direct M2M is a broad label describing automated communication between mechanical or electronic devices, using both fixed and wireless network links with no human interaction.

Petter Pedersen, the senior vice-president for corporate and international business at Total Access Communication (DTAC) said M2M is used in Sweden and Norway to install smart metering that records household power use and automatically sends the data to related agencies with no human contact.

But in Thailand, the concept may take time to catch on due to lower costs for local labour.

The research firm Markets and Markets said the global M2M market will be valued at US$86 billion by 2017 at a compounded annual growth rate of 26.1% between this year and then.

Pedersen said “The world population exceeds 7 billion but the number of mobile SIM cards totals 15 billion, which means the number of SIM cards per capita is around 1.2. These figures represent the power of mobile communications.”

Pedersen added that the number of mobile SIM cards will continue to soar as wireless devices are transformed into automated, smart online devices.

“It is estimated that the use of SIM cards with machines will surpass those used in mobile phones by 2020,” he said.

DTAC has teamed up with its local partner DTC to develop M2M applications for corporate users.

Managing Director of DTC Enterprise Thotsapol Kunapermsiri, a leader in GPS tracking systems, said M2M will play an important role in vehicle fleet management and logistics.

He said lower costs for sensors and tracking machines and affordable mobile data tariffs will fuel growth of M2M applications locally.

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