Raco and Enterprise Mobile cooperate to simplify rollout of M2M services

The two companies are hoping to remove some of the logistics headaches of machine-to-machine services

Raco Wireless and Enterprise Mobile have joined forces to help companies that lack telecom expertise get M2M (machine-to-machine) services off the ground, and in the process increase the sector's popularity, Raco said on Tuesday.

The cellular M2M market is expected to grow from about 110 million connections globally last year to roughly 453 million connections in five years' time, according to ABI Research. But to get there the telecom industry will have to address the complexity of developing, deploying, and managing M2M applications over the cellular network, ABI recently said.

That is what Raco and Enterprise Mobile is hoping to do by removing some of the logistics headaches in rolling out machine-to-machine services, according to John Horn, president at Raco.

"For companies that are not familiar with the telecom space it is complicated to deal with," said Horn.

Working with Enterprise Mobile, Raco will help companies with everything from putting together products, including installing SIM cards, to distribution and activating the devices, according to Horn.

Raco handles everything to do with the wireless service, including the tools that are used for management and monitoring, while Enterprise Mobile handles the physical parts, including the SIM installation, product packaging and shipping, Horn said.

Earlier this year, Raco also announced the Omega Call Center Service, which offers round-the-clock call center support for companies that don't have the resources to offer their users that.

"The more barriers for entry you eliminate, the easier it is for people to create new products and services," Horn said.

There are already a lot of industries where new creative things are happening thanks to M2M that were never imagined before, whether it's chicken farm monitoring, agricultural monitoring for watering systems or oil well maintenance monitoring, along with fleet, security and asset management, according to Horn. What Raco and Enterprise Mobile are doing will only help accelerate growth, he said.

However, Raco and Enterprise Mobile aren't the only two companies working to address the challenges of getting M2M services up and running, according to ABI.

Several large mobile operators, including AT&T, Vodafone, and Telefonica, have built their own platforms for deploying and managing M2M connections over cellular networks, according to ABI.

But there is only so much that can be done within the confines of a large carrier, according to Horn, who along with a team of employees left T-Mobile USA to join Raco in May last year. But there is no bad blood: Raco is still a key partner to T-Mobile.

In addition to Raco, there are also a number of third party platforms from the likes of Jasper Wireless, Ericsson, NEC, and Nokia Siemens Networks.

The latter will increasingly become the primary choice for mobile operators entering the market, as well as a second and complementary option for operators that already have their own platform, according to ABI.

In addition to that, companies such as Axeda and ILS Technology are developing what ABI calls application enablement platforms, which enable quicker and less expensive application development as well as granular remote device management, ABI said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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