When it comes to building out the “Internet of Things” the race may not go to the telecommunications carrier or cloud service provider with the most connectivity, but rather the one that provides the best analytics for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications.
According to Carlos Morales, global director of M2M at Telefonica Digital, connectivity is rapidly becoming a commodity. To better differentiate itself in a space that is not only attracting the attention of every major carrier, but also vendors such as IBM, Cisco and Hewlett-Packard, the Spanish telecommunications carrier in partnership with other regional carriers plans to add a layer of analytics across a global network that customers will be able to invoke to optimize M2M applications.
As organizations race to connect everything from smartphones to industrial equipment to the Internet, a massive amount of so-called Big Data is being generated. The companies that manage the networks that connect all those devices are hoping to generate new streams of revenue by providing analytics insights into all that data. In addition, Telefonica plans to offer specific turnkey M2M solutions in various vertical markets as well as hosting services for custom applications that can take advantage of a global network of data centers managed by Telefonica, says Morales.
The IT industry as a whole sees the Internet of Things as an emerging source of revenue that will generate billions of dollars of revenue every year with over 20 billion different devices connected to the Internet in one way or another.
Naturally, some sharp elbows are already being thrown in terms of who can actually provide what kind of capabilities. But what is clear is that while carriers such as Telefonica may not be known for their alacrity, they have significant ambition when it comes to the convergence of M2M, mobile and cloud computing that goes well beyond providing access to “dumb pipes.”