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2013 Predictions: M2M and the ‘Internet of things’ in 2013

Editor’s Note: With 2013 now upon us, RCR Wireless News has gathered predictions from leading industry analysts and executives on what they expect to see in the new year.

We expect some fabulousness and some losers in this crazy world of the “Internet of things” and machine-to-machine. This topic may not be quite as dramatic as those of my associates Paris Hilton or Perez Hilton, but this Steve Hilton has something to say about the hottest and the “not-est” for IoT/M2M in 2013.

Hot No. 1: Connected cars
Imagine a connected 1909 Ford Model T for every household. In 1922 Henry Ford penned in his autobiography, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” Well, I doubt ol’ Henry would have believed the craziness we’re going to start seeing in cars in 2013. Expect to hear a lot more talk about in-car connectivity, and I don’t mean Bluetooth-enabled smart phones. Expect to soon see on-board modules to provide diagnostics, vehicle tracking/management, various insurance-related services, security/surveillance of the vehicle and more.

Hot No. 2: Operators playing nicely together
The year 2013 is going to be like 1969 all over again: it’s the year of flower power, love and peace. Expect to see the operators really working together in 2013. We expect lots of them to gather ‘round their platforms based on offerings from Ericsson, Jasper or Vodafone ‘n friends. Let’s all just get along.

Hot No. 3: Quantity and quality of M2M/IoT connections
You heard it here first. Size and quality matter. Operators and service providers are refining and improving the service level agreements associated with enterprise-grade IoT/M2M offerings and we expect to see differentiated offerings in 2013 based on different levels of quality of service at the network, platform and application layers.

Not No. 1: Really stupid M2M/IoT products
Not every technology solution is a good solution just because an engineer can design it. I’m tired of being pitched the most outlandish M2M ideas. I used to work for a CEO that endlessly discussed the connected umbrella as a sign of our joyous 21st-century world. The connected umbrella isn’t a good idea, so let’s just move on and build businesses based on profitable offerings with market potential.

Not No. 2: Connectivity-only, cut-throat pricing
Mobile network operators and mobile virtual network operators that position M2M/IoT as cheaply-priced mobile data service are so not hot in 2013. M2M solutions need customized tariffs built to suit the enterprises buying them. Bundling together connectivity and a variety of services will yield better overall enterprise satisfaction and better average revenues per user.

Not No. 3: Partners only going half-the-distance
No one likes a guest who shows up to a “bring-your-own-bottle” without a bottle of wine or other libation. Partnerships in M2M/IoT have generally been about technology enablement. But while technology enablement is necessary, it isn’t sufficient for successful M2M/IoT partners these days. The best partners bring customer deals and viable channels-to-market to the partnership. Look for operators and vendors to be purging partners that can’t deliver customers in 2013.

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