The survey addressed the main factors that influence the development of M2M services (and more general of the Internet of Things).
As Agcom noted, there were approximately 225 million M2M connections in 2014, of which 27% in Europe, with a 20% growth trend, covering a wide (and diverse) array of electronic communication services, from connected cars to infotainment services, from smart metering to smart grids and smart cities.
Certain issues will need to be addressed:
- M2M is changing the traditional relationships, which are shifting from B2C (Business to Consumer) to B2B (Business to Business) or B2B2C (Business to Business to Consumer) models, with the traditional telco operators losing the direct relationship with the final user to the advantage of the M2M services provider;
- M2M is pushing traditional telco operators towards international alliances. This may cause concerns insofar as it can create entry barriers for national players that are unable to play a global game;
- there are limited infrastructures to address the future transmission needs (see also our latest post here), and so far the technology solutions are very diverse and mainly based on proprietary and not interoperable standards.
Agcom added that specific M2M regulations for international roaming, authorizations and numbering will need to be considered. In this respect, it will also set up a Committee, with a view to discuss further regulations to foster the development of M2M services.