Do we need a separate network for M2M traffic?

With the co-called Internet of Things only just getting started, it’s sometimes hard for enterprises to plan strategies.

There may be a device that your (fill in the blank — warehouse/factory/installations in the field/customer devices around the world) that will send data back to (fill in the blank –your data centre/the cloud) enough that you’ll need (fill in the blank — terrabytes/petabytes/exabytes) of storage.

Do you need a separate network for all that traffic?

Maybe not internally, but freelance writer Gayle Dutton notes on that some people are talking about the need for an international network for all that M2M traffic that will be roaring around the world.

It’s an interesting thought, coming the same week as a vendor survey of network professionals on readiness for the IoT.

A company called Sigfox is building a low-bandwidth network now for M2M traffic in San Francisco, Britain, France, Russia, Spain and the Netherlands.

As with all new technologies, there’s another side to the coin. Dutton quotes  the chief marketing officer of the Bluetooth SIG saying “a separate network probably would prevent the IoT from becoming a reality because it would stunt interoperability.” Developing separate Internet networks, he explains, fosters proprietary or regional approaches that reduce competition and tie companies and consumers to their technology vendors.”

His answer: Bluetooth Smart networks, cellular and Wi-Fi networks will be good enough.

Well, ask two vendors for solutions and they’ll pitch their own.

Whether the volume of M2M traffic will achieve projections is a question still to be answered, although the amount of mobile data generated by smart phone users has exceeded predictions. That could be a sign.

On the other hand one-third of people surveyed in the IoT study released this week think it’s over-hyped.

Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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