The GSM Association has kick-started a strategy to stimulate the machine-to-machine (M2M) potential of embedded mobile connectivity in a wide range of devices in consumer electronics, clean technology, healthcare, transportation and utility sectors, including smart meters.
GSMA includes nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations.
The goal of the Embedded Mobile programme, which was launched in November 2008, is to foster new business opportunities by bringing the benefits of continuous mobile connectivity to embedded devices in the clean energy, education, healthcare, transport, consumer electronics and smart utilities sectors.
“The benefits of embedded mobile to businesses and consumers are nearly endless, from enabling a travelling family to easily transmit holiday photos to relatives at home, to helping a vending company automatically track stocking levels and operating status of its machines, to allowing power companies to remotely collect data from across meter and power grids,” explained Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer for the GSMA.
“We are keenly focused on reducing industry fragmentation in the delivery of embedded mobile solutions, facilitating economies of scale in design and production and driving cross-industry awareness of module designs,” O’Hara added.
To further promote the development of the embedded mobile market, the GSMA has kicked off a competition whose goal is to identify best-in-class embedded modules across a number of categories, as well as mobile service applications and solutions.
The first stage of the competition, which will focus on leading embedded modules, will be held at the Mobile Asia Congress in November 2009. The second stage of the competition will showcase innovative service applications and solutions at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2010.
“KT is confident that its active involvement in the GSMA’s Embedded Mobile Initiative will create broader opportunities for this market,” said Hyunmi Yang, executive vice-president & CSO, Personal Customer Group, KT Corp.
“We further believe that the launch of a global competition as part of this programme will stimulate the growth of the M2M market and will help us to identify new mobile services that will be of true value to our customers. The GSMA’s Embedded Mobile Initiative will allow immediate communication means for everyday devices via a mobile network, and we believe that the mobile network will become the key facilitator for enriching the daily lives of our customers.”
To facilitate the creation of scores of new embedded mobile applications, the GSMA also announced that it has initiated a work stream within the Embedded Mobile programme to develop and publish of a set of design guidelines for key categories of applications, such as health, automotive, smart metering and consumer devices.
This is a joint initiative involving mobile operator and module vendor representatives from across the world. The GSMA expects to make these design guidelines available in November 2009.
“Potential use of embedded 3G modules are diversified and require development of unique software for each application,” said Ted Matsumoto, senior executive vice-president, SoftBank Mobile Corp.
“The cost of modules is a critical factor in helping make these applications accepted by a wide range of users, so we should avoid the fragmentation of module hardware design as much as possible. Working with the device and chipset vendors, the GSMA will help to achieve this goal.”
By John Kennedy
Photo source: GSMA & Decisive Media. Photographer: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert