M2M Comms: The Whitespace between WAN and LAN

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.

03/16/2012


IMS Research: Excellence in market intelligenceIn 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. ZigBeeBluetooth 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 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.

IMS Research’s report “Smart Cards in M2M – World – 2012” will address these issues on an application by application basis and will examine what type of SIM card is best suited for each. For more information please contact me at Alex.Green(at)IMSResearch.com, or +44 1933 402255 or visit our website at www.IMSResearch.com.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me