Asia mobile operator group unveils M2M pact

Comprising 11 Asia-Pacific mobile operators, Bridge Alliance introduces a new machine-to-machine alliance that aims to address interoperability issues and offer help to businesses deploying the technology.

A industry group comprising mobile operators in Asia-Pacific has unveiled a new alliance to provide a "one-stop-shop" to support machine-to-machine (M2M) deployments in the region. 

Bridge Alliance , which comprises 11 telcos such as Singapore's SingTel, India's Airtel, Hong Kong's CSL, Malaysia's Maxis, and Indonesia's Telkomsel, said the M2M unit encompasses its existing members and aims to be the center of excellence for M2M products and services. It wants to facilitate partnerships and interoperability, eliminating the challenge of having to integrate services from multiple operators, and help customers roll out M2M initiatives, according to a statement released Monday.

With the group's combined subscriber base of 500 million, the new Bridge M2M Alliance touts itself to be the region's biggest industry group in its space.

Bridge Alliance CEO Alessandro Adriani said in the statement: "Asia is made up of highly varied economies, uneven technological development, and diversified regulatory requirements. As a result, multinational businesses find it extremely difficult to navigate the intricacies of the region and to fully capitalize on economies of scale."

The introduction of the M2M alliance demonstrates the desire of the 11 operators in the group to "overcome these challenges" and ease customers' deployment of M2M, Adriani said.

The new partnership encompasses commercial and technological alliance across verticals such as vehicle telemetry, security, and energy management, and aims to ink partnerships with key players in the ecosystem including app developers and component manufacturers.

By end-2016, the addressable revenue opportunity for mobile operators as a result of M2M is projected to be US$1 trillion, before climbing to US$1.2 trillion by 2020. Industry analysts, however, had pointed to the fragmentation of mobile networks  on a national level as a " major challenge " for global M2M deployments. Businesses typically need to work with one or several operators per geographic region to achieve international coverage. This could mean a dozen telco relationships with each using different network platforms, leading to complex deployments.