In the last couple of years we’ve seen the Internet of Things (IoT) take centre stage and develop into a multinational phenomenon. Wherever we go we’re connected, whether it’s through a car, wearable or even a kettle!
According to Gartner there will be approximately 20.8 billion (yes billion) connected devices worldwide by 2020! That’s almost three times as many as the number of people walking the planet. But what’s the driving force behind this exponentially growing tech craze?
IoT is simply a network of connected devices that all connect to the internet, and it’s all powered by machine to machine (M2M) communications. M2M is the process in which two (or more) devices send and exchange data to one another in order to eliminate the need for human interaction. This is usually implemented using M2M SIMs, or low-level frequency connections.
This new era of automation is growing at an alarming rate as both consumers and businesses begin to utilise the technology in many different applications. But how is the addition of M2M driving IoT forward?
M2M is an extremely diverse form of connectivity that’s opened up the IoT market; with roaming functionalities, fixed IPs, private VPNs, aggregated data and SIM estate management platforms, IoT isn’t quite as simple as it once was. Due to these additional features, the internet of things is now much more complex, hence the extensive repertoire of IoT applications.
How has M2M affected the consumer market of IoT?
Nowadays we’re used to being connected 24/7, and with most processes at home becoming automated it’ll soon be hard to imagine a world in which we have to manually undertake each task.
Wherever we go we hear about smart homes, smart cars, and even smart fridges! If these technologies were unable to communicate with one another through M2M we wouldn’t have so called ‘smart tech’ at all.
The truth is that each of these connected devices uses M2M to make our lives easier and more efficient; they’re helping us change our lifestyles so that we can spend less time worrying about unimportant things and focus on the things that should be a priority.
How does M2M affect the corporate IoT market?
Businesses are constantly evolving and adapting in an attempt to push themselves ahead of their competitors (this usually entails keeping up with the latest tech). One of the main differences we’ve seen in the last decade or so is the addition of M2M and IoT.
The internet of things is allowing businesses to automate processes that once required human employees to complete. Organisations around the planet no longer abide to the 9 till 5 office regime that we were once used to, they run 24/7 around the clock with little or no human interference whatsoever.
As this influx of connectivity and automation spreads exponentially we need a way of ensuring that these robot employees or ‘machines’ are completing their tasks with no issues and to the highest standard. That’s where the main advantage of M2M arises.
Thanks to M2M SIM cards and solutions, we can now monitor data without the need for service engineers to be onsite. This allows us to monitor the ‘health’ of each machine and understand exactly where a problem occurs (enabling us to quickly respond and fix it).
We’ve also seen M2M take the telematics and transport industry by storm. This is all down to the roaming functionalities of the solution. Some M2M providers offer non-steered SIMs that enable the connected device to roam networks and connect to the strongest one (rather than a steered SIM that connects to one prioritised network even if it’s barely visible before roaming).
So does M2M have an effect on IoT? In a word, yes. M2M isn’t just a bystander when it comes to the IoT, it’s the platform that the connected world stands on. We’d hear very little about IoT if it wasn’t for M2M communication.