Changing the world with cellular connectivity
The world is alive with ‘things’. It’s predicted that by 2025 there will be over 40 billion connected devices*. So, what are The Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M) connectivity, and what’s our role within this dynamic marketplace?
‘Things’ can refer to physical devices, buildings, vehicles, in fact anything that can be connected to the internet via embedded connectivity technology.
* Source: IDC
What is IoT?
IoT is a network or eco-system of physical objects (things) that are connected through the internet to exchange data, without any human interaction. These ‘things’ have embedded software, sensors, actuators and network connectivity that enables the collection and exchange of data.
Connected technology continues to impact the way we work and live – smart homes, smart cars, cellular connectivity and the Internet of Everything have become everyday terms.
IoT applications are reaching more and more industrial and commercial sectors, including Farming, Vehicle Telematics, Street Lighting and Mobile Health. We’re transforming business and operational models which means that they’re more efficient, safe and secure.
What is M2M connectivity?
M2M is the one- or two-way exchange of information between devices, using either wired or wireless connectivity without the manual assistance from humans.
This technology has been used for decades as the standard in telemetry. Wireless M2M has been dominated by mobiles using cellular networks since they were introduced in the mid-2000s with 2G introducing the new age of SIM connectivity.
Applications can be seen in Manufacturing, Smart Agriculture, Industry 4.0, and Traffic Control which includes monitoring speed and volume.
M2M doesn’t need an internet connection whereas IoT does.
The differences between IoT and M2M
To keep it simple, M2M is where machines connect to each other using a network to share data, such as machines, sensors or appliances – anything that can send and receive data through one- or two-way communication.
IoT is the next step, it’s an eco-system or network of devices that exchange data over a network and can connect anything. This data can be monitored and controlled using a platform allowing for businesses to closely monitor their ‘things’ to work efficiently, saving time and money.
M2M and IoT both provide remote access to devices or other connected things.
Key differentiators between M2M and IoT
|Internet Protocol (IP)||Mainly focused on direct point-to-point connectivity across mobile networks or fixed lines.|
Communication between devices only.
|IoT communications involve IP networks and employ cloud or middleware platforms. |
With IoT, broader processes, connectivity and applications are possible.
|Big Data||Data from M2M devices is not shared with other applications.||Connected assets using IoT can deliver huge generated data packets of which programming and analysis can lead to improved business performance.|
|Scalability||No scalability. Only works between one or two devices.||IoT uses a cloud-based architecture connecting multiple assets or devices.|
|Software||Hardware based. Internet is not needed to communicate between devices.||Active internet connection and platform for data management required.|
|Communication||Communication is limited between machine to machine or device to device.||An unlimited number and mix of assets, devices and gateways can exchange data via cellular connectivity.|
Are IoT devices secure?
Providing secure environments for the SIM and data traffic using IoT and M2M cellular connectivity, helps to avoid potential risks such as SIM theft, misuse, fraud and unauthorised access.
To minimise your risk and help secure your IoT applications and devices, we advise that you carry out a number of security steps to keep you, your business and reputation safe.
To support you, we offer a range of IP Services that provide multi-layer security for your IoT applications and devices.
IoT/M2M has been revolutionising industries for many years, with more businesses looking to invest in adopting IoT solutions to upscale overall productivity, have better maintenance and management of devices/assets and reduce costs over time.
Some of the key industries we have supported and provided IoT applications for include:
Many energy companies have operations located remotely, such as oil and gas fields or water metering, which require continuous monitoring but are potentially in hard to reach places i.e underground or hazardous environments.
Real-time monitoring through cellular devices benefits patients and healthcare workers. IoT applications in the healthcare industry can help to save lives, provide more people with independent living and support better patient care.
Resilient 4G and soon to be 5G connectivity allows for businesses in this sector to always be connected. By providing business continuity over cellular backup and fixed line broadband, remote workers are able to connect and communicate securely.
Secure Wi-Fi connections and resilient failover/backup solutions are paramount for the retail industry, ensuring that payments, ordering and CCTV are seamless. With an IoT solution, retailers can monitor trends and behaviour.
Customers can now monitor their driver’s behaviour, the wear and tear of vehicles, fleet management and logistics. Sensors can track, trace and monitor temperature levels and then send alerts that are critical for many industries.