Network operators are always looking for ways to expand the way organizations can use their networks beyond voice and data centre traffic.
To encourage developers of machine-to-machine applications to use its network Rogers Communications Inc. [TSX: RCI.A] has struck a partnership with Axeda Corp. to resell its software-as-a-service development platform to developers, which now has hooks into Rogers’ network and billing system.
The goal, said Mansell Nelson, Rogers’ vice-president of machine to machine (M2M) business, is to make it easier for developers to do their work.
With the wireless network part of software development largely looked after, Axeda's cloud computing software “leaves the application developer to focus much more on the customer-facing end of the application,” Nelson said Friday.
Pricing depends on the APIs and number of developers using the service, he said, so couldn’t give an example of what it might cost. But he did say it would be less expensive than an organization buying and maintaining development software.
Foxboro, Mass., -based Axeda says its M2M Cloud Service is a secure platform reduces project implementation time. Carrier customers include AT&T, Verizon and Vodafone in the U.S. Corporate customers include NCR, Diebold, Science Applications International Corp, EMC Corp., FalconStor Software and Teradata.
The platform enables developers to create remote services and asset tracking, links to CRM and ERP systems, device management and usage-based billing.
M2M includes a wide-range of applications, usually ones that run automatically without human intervention. They include everything from residential power or water monitoring to car monitoring systems. Nelson fits wireless patient health monitors and automated digital signs into the mix.
Beecham Research, which specializes in the M2M market, estimates that this year application and services revenue for the sector in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico will hit US$3.5 billion. World-wide, M2M applications and services will pull in US$14 billion this year. On top of that, carriers and service providers will earn $3 billion in network revenue. Overall, Beecham estimates, the M2M market will be worth US$20 billion this year.
IDC Canada estimates M2M network access revenues alone hit $143 million last year but will jump to $408 million by 2015.
Rogers has wanted to make revenue from M2M business an important part of its strategy since 2010. At its recent annual general meeting CEO Nadir Mohamed said he wants M2M to be a growth area for the carrier.