VIDEO INTERVIEW: “M2M is not just about connectivity, it’s about a platform,” declares Sean Horan, director of M2M business development at AT&T.
Although M2M can drive data connectivity revenue through sheer weight of numbers – there were 17 million M2M connected devices on the AT&T network earlier this year – Horan sees greater value in additional managed services.
AT&T’s global SIM solution, launched in 2012 to provide international M2M connectivity, is a case in point
“It enables you to manage a SIM from one single portal, in one unified billing contract, among 500+ carriers in 200 countries,” Horan told Mobile World Live. “Enterprises are able to manage the SIM and billing but also troubleshoot and put business rules in place that allow them to deploy and automate those services throughout the world.”
Horan also sees strong M2M potential in the consumer space, most notably in the automotive sector.
He refers to AT&T’s Drive Studio, the operator’s dedicated facility for connected car innovation and research.
“The studio gives the ability for automotive OEMs to come in and experiment on new applications in order to differentiate,” said Horan. BMW, Nissan and Volvo are among some of the car manufacturers involved.
“This is not just a specific wireless play,” added Horan, “but gives a platform to integrate innovative ideas and applications in one central location.”
The AT&T man believes the operator M2M role is evolving.
“It was initially just about connectivity, but then it was about enterprises coming to us and saying ‘now that I have connection to the machine, what data can I extract?’ AT&T can position itself as an integrator and… drive new revenue opportunities for our customers.”