T-Mobile USA has made a move into the fast-growing machine-to-machine (M2M) mobile communications space with the introduction of an embedded SIM module, reports the Wall Street Journal today. The strategy aims to allow many other devices besides mobile phones to connect to its network. Unlike mobile phones, the embedded devices market is deemed to have plenty of room for growth. “I believe we will attack that space and be a dominant player,” said John Horn, national director of T-Mobile’s M2M unit. According to the WSJ, T-Mobile’s new SIM module is highly durable and extremely small when compared to standard SIMs, making it suitable for a range of other devices.

The Deutsche Telekom-owned operator also announced a deal with smart power grid company Echelon, which will use T-Mobile USA’s mobile network to link so-called ‘smart meters’ to utilities. According to a Reuters report, T-Mobile will provide embedded SIMs inside a cellular radio module in Echelon’s smart meters, allowing Echelon to collect power usage and other data. The report notes that several US utilities are testing similar ‘smart grid’ projects in a drive to use electricity more efficiently. Commenting on the potential size of the market, Horn told Reuters: “There are 300 million electric meters. You’ve got gas and water on top of that. It’s a very, very large opportunity… billions of dollars.”