The upcoming auction of 4G spectrum should give an even greater boost to the already rapidly expanding mobile broadband, connected device and M2M marketplaces. We are already seeing mobile broadband become increasingly ubiquitous and the availability of much faster 4G speeds will merely serve to further accelerate this process. Equally, new M2M applications will inevitably evolve as the new high-speed technology becomes available.This represents a great and growing opportunity for wireless service providers but it also presents them with some complex challenges. One of the most difficult is finding a suitable way to manage what is a hugely diverse marketplace. Connected device innovation is being introduced from a range of different sources. These include device vendors such as Apple, mobile operating systems like those developed by Google, and mobile app and web service developers like Twitter and Foursquare. This is leading to a growing fragmentation of the traditionally vertically integrated mobile industry. Wireless service providers understand this but they do not yet fully appreciate that they are going to have to reinvent themselves, to completely rethink what they are doing to fully take advantage of new wholesale business models. In particular, wireless service providers need to offer a platform that supports a variety of connected device and M2M use cases. These platforms must provide orders of magnitude improvements in cost efficiency and flexibility to adapt to hundreds of new industries and applications. For example, smart device connectivity and control solutions can share expensive resources between countless devices when each device only needs infrequent access to the cellular network. Only then, will they be in a position to truly reinvent themselves; manage the fragmentation of the market, stimulate innovation and help drive the development of this exciting new market.Stuart Cochran, chief technology officer, Evolving Systems
30 Mar 2011
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