Three M2M examples show Sprint solutions can go “outside of the phone”.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “wireless technology”? Is it 4G, smartphone or maybe data plan?
A new phrase is elbowing its way into the wireless carrier lexicon: machine-to-machine (M2M) technology. By its simplest definition, M2M is technology that supports wired or wireless communication between machines. Think “machines talking to each other.”
M2M wireless technology represents a huge growth opportunity for wireless network providers. Telecom, media and technology experts at Analysys Mason predict the global market for M2M connections will grow to 2.1 billion devices in 2021 from 100.4 million devices in 2011.
“Annual growth rates for the fastest growing M2M applications, such as connected transportation and health care, are 40 to 50 percent,” said Steve Hilton, principal analyst at Analysys Mason.
This type of growth requires communications operators to be on the top of their game. Sprint prides itself on providing an excellent customer experience and first-to-market innovative solutions for its enterprise customers. We’ve seen this same focus in Sprint’s activities in the M2M ecosystem.”
Sprint has been at the forefront of M2M breakthroughs for more than a dozen years. The company continues to power some of the world’s most popular smartphones on its dependable and continually improving wireless network and is winning third-party customer service awards. Along the way, Sprint’s Emerging Solutions Group has helped coordinate opportunities for developers and business partners to power their innovative M2M products on its network. The company remains a technology leader by giving the customer the service they want, when and where they need it.
Here are a few recent examples of Sprint’s teaming with partners and developers on wireless solutions that are M2M or “outside of the phone.”
Keeping the water safe and secure for residents of South Carolina
Georgetown County (S.C.) Water and Sewer District, a water and sewage treatment provider for up to 27,000 customers in 15 communities, needed a video surveillance system to enhance security at its remote treatment facilities. The utility had two key requirements for the system. First, the system needed to be a turnkey solution that could be easily installed without adding costly infrastructure.
Second, the system needed to boost situational awareness and overall security with real-time event detection, enabling rapid, focused response and minimizing the likelihood of an incident. An M2M solution, CheckVideo by Cernium, powered by the Sprint wireless network is cloud-based and centers on intelligent video surveillance and alarm verification. It watches every camera at the treatment facility 24/7 and sends critical, real-time video alerts to authorized personnel when events of interest occur.
“Implementing CheckVideo on the Sprint wireless network at our facility allows us to increase overall security without the expense of adding more infrastructure or disturbing our existing IT infrastructure,” said Corey Allen, IT director, Georgetown County Water and Sewer District.
“This has resulted in enormous cost savings and efficiencies for us, and we have the CheckVideo surveillance system and the reliable Sprint wireless network to thank for that.”
How many calories in that pack of Oreos?
VendScreen relies on the Sprint network to wirelessly deliver nutritional data and advertising to displays mounted on vending machines while collecting real-time, point-of-sale data for analytics tracking (following nutritional information viewed, promotions redeemed, products bought, and other consumer behaviors). The Android™-powered VendScreen M2M product lets customers review nutritional data before they buy while providing the vending machine operators an easy way to help comply with the new calorie disclosure law. VendScreen also offers advertisers direct access to consumers for direct messaging at the time of purchase and the option to pay by credit card or use various payment options. The VendScreen user interface can be installed on new vending machines or retrofitted on almost any existing machine.
“We need a reliable and secure network to power our thousands of revolutionary touchscreen devices,” said Glenn Butler, VendScreen co-founder and CTO.
“We have to have M2M sales and engineering partners that are as passionate as we are to satisfy customers. That’s why we’re teaming with Sprint.”
Transmitting the news in broadcast quality on the Sprint network
LiveU, the pioneer of portable video-over-cellular solutions from any location around the world, is relying on Sprint for mobile HD video transmission. On the Sprint wireless network, LiveU’s LU60 and LU40 devices use multiple 3G and 4G mobile broadband cards and embedded modules to forge a resilient broadcast quality video link, packing the capabilities of an HD satellite truck into a compact backpack. LiveU has top-tier customers, such as news agencies and roving reporters, in more than 60 countries across five continents, and its solutions have been used at such events as the 2011 British Royal Wedding, the World Cup in South Africa, and the 2012 London Olympic Games. Since teaming with LiveU, Sprint has activated more than 1,100 devices on its network.
“We’re delighted to expand our video uplink offerings within Sprint’s M2M solutions portfolio,” said Ariel Galinsky, vice president of Corporate and Business Development, LiveU.
“Through our close collaboration with Sprint, we’re seeing growing demand for live video transmission across different market segments, including online media, enterprise, education and government.”
Sprint has earned honors for its M2M execution from two noted independent entities since late last year:
- The company ranked second in the Analysys Mason 2011 M2M scorecard for communications service providers and took the top ranking among North American-based providers.
- Sprint also received the 2011 Customer Value Enhancement Award in North America for Machine to Machine (M2M) Communications from Frost & Sullivan.
- A Gold Value Chain award was presented to Sprint, Pro-Transport-1 and Feeney Wireless in the transportation category by Connect World Magazine in July 2012. Mobile Innovations LLC, Sprint, Telit Wireless Solutions and Connected Development won a Bronze Value Chain Award in the home health category.
About the Sprint Emerging Solutions Group
Sprint is at the forefront of this wireless industry revolution, teaming with and supporting a large and diverse portfolio of innovative companies to create smarter wireless solutions that change the way people work and live. Sprint offers a hands-on, interactive lab in Burlingame, Calif., where ideas knowledge and technology unite to produce wirelessly enabled M2M concepts and products. The Sprint Command Center that allows businesses with Sprint wireless-connected products the ability to manage, activate and deactivate each device via a Web-based portal. To learn more about Sprint’s M2M offerings, visit www.sprint.com/m2m.
 Source: Analysys Mason, M2M device connections, revenue and ARPU: worldwide forecast 2011-2021