Telekom Austria Group has announced that it has ‘successfully concluded’ the first operating quarter since the September 2011 launch of its new machine-to-machine (M2M) division, confirming that it has acquired 19 ‘high volume’ projects, with a total enterprise value of EUR5 million (USD6.58 million). Projects realised thus far encompass the transportation, logistics, retail and industrial automation industries. M2M is essentially the exchange of data between a remote machine and a back-end IT infrastructure. The transfer of data can be two-way: uplink to collect product and usage information; or downlink to send instructions or software updates, or remotely monitor equipment. In the past, the high cost of deploying M2M technology made it the exclusive domain of large organisations that could afford to build and maintain their own dedicated data networks. However, the widespread adoption of cellular technology has effectively made wireless M2M technology available to manufacturers worldwide.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in July 2011 Telekom Austria announced that it had created a new subsidiary to oversee its entrance into the lucrative M2M sector. Branded ‘TA Group M2M GmbH’, the new unit commenced business on 1 September, and is operational in all eight countries where Telekom has a wireless presence. Making the announcement, Telekom CEO Hannes Ametsreiter predicted that M2M penetration is set to increase from 145% to 300%-400% in the ‘forseeable future’.