The GSMA wrapped up its 360 Summit in Atlanta this week. The event was part of a series of regional meetups that seek to address issues specific to a given market.
This year’s Summit in Atlanta featured keynotes by AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega, CTIA’s Meredith Atwell Baker and FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, among others.
Wireless Week spoke with GSMA’s Global Head of Strategic Engagement and Head of North America, Reed Peterson, who said that one of the big focuses at this year’s show was M2M, a topic on which the GSMA just published two reports.
“We had predicted anywhere from 190 to 250 million M2M connections this year,” Peterson noted, citing a stat that points to a doubling in the percentage of total connections that M2M accounted for over 2010. “To double that in three years is kind of unheard of.”
Peterson said that while most everyone recognizes the obviousness of the connected car and connected home, the M2M market is just now beginning to realize new solutions that are a little more peculiar.
“What’s not obvious are all the little adjacencies that we’re not really even considering,” Peterson said, noting a demonstration at the Summit of the fabled connected toothbrush that’s connected to an app that alerts the user to areas they’re neglecting when brushing.
When talking about challenges ahead for the M2M market, Peterson said that he believes 3G will be sufficent for most applications at least in the near term. That said, he stressed the need for spectrum.
“One of the really big challenges for M2M is you really do need more spectrum,” Peterson said. “It’s the railway upon which mobile operates, and we need more tracks.”
Peterson also said that operators have to come together around specifications to ensure that all these new connected things can talk to one another.
“They need to come to the table with a mood of deal making, of wanting to do deals with Ford, or GM, or Home Automation, or whoever it is,” Peterson said. “It’s people coming together to do what’s best for the consumer, not just what’s best for the company.”