M2M Comms: The white space between WAN and LAN

Whitespace radio looks well positioned to fill some of the gaps between WAN cellular machine to machine communications and LAN short range wireless machine to machine communications.

05/09/2013


IMS Research (acquired by IHS, Inc.)In our smart cards in M2M report that we published in 2011, IMS Research projected that the volume of SIM cards shipped into cellular modules used for machine to machine comms would be more that 350 million per year by the end of the decade. However, TV whitespace communications could present a threat to this nascent market.

Although it will take a number of years for the market to develop, whitespace radio does look well positioned to fill some of the gaps between WAN cellular machine to machine communications and LAN short range wireless (e.g. ZigBee, Bluetooth Smart) machine to machine communications. At present there is little requirement for a SIM in whitespace solutions (or room to absorb the cost), and so should whitespace solutions take significant market share, it would be a dent in the prospects of a substantial SIM card market developing in this application.

That being said it’s my view that the threat is limited. This big applications for SIM cards in cellular modules include those that require wide area mobile networks, such as those for automotive and asset tracking. These are applications where it would be tough for whitespace to break into unless some large operators throw a lot of money at developing nationwide whitespace networks. It’s unlikely many car manufacturers would risk using a whitespace radio solution when there is at present no guarantee that nationwide whitespace networks will be rolled out. Cellular based solutions would be a much safer bet!

In more static applications, the potential for whitespace is stronger. Another big application for SIM cards in M2M cellular modules would be in utility meters. This kind of application would be more suited to a whitespace network. It’s quite easy to imagine a utility provider rolling out a whitespace solution on a local bases in order to provide a WAN network for smart metering applications. It wouldn’t need to be a nationwide network and without the mobility requirement, network planning would be more predictable. However, again it’s my view that there would still be many challenges for whitespace here. The application is already very crowded in terms of wired and wireless solutions aimed at addressing this issue. Whitespace’s late arrival in this market, amplifies its challenges.

However, the potential for whitespace is still substantial. There are many WAN M2M applications where an embedded cellular module would be too expensive, and using an alternative short range wireless technology too prohibitive in terms of range. Examples include street lighting control, parking meter monitoring, oil rig/pipeline instrumentation, border control sensors, and road traffic safety systems. It’s applications such as these where whitespace is best positioned to carve out its market.

I’ll be exploring some of these issues and more at the upcoming M2M World Congress (http://www.m2mconference.com/index.html) which IMS Research is supporting. The M2M World Congress 2012 is one of the world's leading m2m conferences focusing on m2m applications for automotive, healthcare, asset and fleet management, manufacturing, security, retail point of sales, smart grid, smart metering, smart home and consumer electronics industry.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.