UK mobile network operators (and T-Mobile/Orange joint venture) Everything Everywhere made a fairly big splash announcement last week about how it hoped to realise its M2M ambitions.
Press release here.
What puzzles me about this is not that EE would have pretensions in the M2M market, it's that it's decided to do so via a proprietary platform developed in conjunction with European MVNE Transatel. It seems increasingly evident to me that only the biggest of MNOs can survive with their own proprietary platform. It's just not a sensible option for a single country operator to build their own. They just don't have the scale to keep up with the big boys. Therefore the only assumption is that Transatel has some kind of pretensions at being a regional or global platform provider in the M2M space. However, I just can't see them being able to keep up with the more established non-proprietary platforms, such as from Jasper or Ericsson. These folks either have pedigree (in terms of existing customers) or scale.
As for the announcement that EE has signed a deal with telematics provider Redtail Telematics, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what the exact details are. Not least because neither Redtail, nor its partner company Plextek, has seen fit to put out a press release on their website setting out their perspective on the deal. It looks to me like Plextek is a mid-sized UK telematics company (and there's nothing wrong with that!) that happens to have a partnership with Redtail, who have 5 million telematics SIMs. I can't help feeling EE might be overblowing this deal. I suspect it's not a deal for EE to manage 5 million global telematics SIMs. I'm waiting to hear from EE though.
In November Machina Research will be publishing its M2M benchmarking report, comparing major CSPs in terms of their capabilities in M2M. In that we'll be focusing a lot of attention on platforms both proprietary and non-proprietary.