Three verticals starting to see development of M2M solutions, Ericsson says

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Certain vertical markets such as financial, transport and energy are seeing development in terms of machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions in Latin America, Swedish telecoms equipment manufacturer Ericsson's (Nasdaq: ERIC) business development manager for the region, Carla Belitardo, told BNamericas.

"In Brazil, energy companies are implementing some digital metering solutions, with 2G technology. In Mexico, we have already identified some opportunities in this segment," Belitardo said.

Other verticals such as transport represent a large opportunity for M2M solutions, mainly in the tracking segment, she said. "We are working in the city of Curitiba, in Brazil, with a project to connect buses through 3G technology."

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Through this project, while being connected to 3G mobile broadband networks, Curitiba's public buses are equipped with Ericsson mobile broadband modules for high speed access. Through M2M solutions, controllers have access to a wide range of information about their fleet and could monitor the route, stop time, speed, distance traveled, date of departure and arrival.

"The financial segment also offers significant opportunities. There are ATMs already connected to the network through 3G technology," she added.

Meanwhile, 3G devices in the health segment are not yet a reality but Belitardo pointed out that there are several initiatives to have devices to send data through 3G technology. "We are conducting trials for the deployment of telematic solutions in the health field," she added. "Several countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela are very interested in these solutions for the health segment."

The increasing adoption of machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions as well as the development of 3G and 4G technologies will significantly increase the number of connected devices in the region and globally, with the Latin American markets with the highest level of connected devices by 2020 expected to be Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. "Chile is also important - not in terms of volume but in terms of innovation and connectivity," the executive said. Ericsson expects the region to have 5bn connected devices by 2020.

At a global level, Ericsson expects a total of 50bn connections by 2020. "Today we already see laptops and advanced handsets connected, but in the future everything that will benefit from being connected, will be connected," Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg previously said during the company's annual general meeting of shareholders, which took place in Stockholm, Sweden, earlier this year.

Ericsson's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry.