This was the main conclusion from ETSI's M2M workshop which took place on 19 and 20 October. With over 220 attendees from across the world, this was the most popular ETSI workshop to date, with the high degree of interest reflecting the enormous potential that is foreseen for M2M applications and technologies.
Among the speakers and delegates were representatives from the world's major telecommunication manufacturers and network operators, security companies, utilities, regulators, universities and research institutes. The workshop presented the current status of Machine-to-Machine standards work, both in ETSI and in other standards bodies, and examined how M2M capabilities will be a stepping stone toward the "Internet of Things".
Delegates were left in no doubt that M2M is a sector which will see massive growth, even if the range of potential applications is still hard to imagine, and the business cases and revenue potentials have yet to be established. Among the diverse applications presented at the workshop were the use of M2M in support of rural farming in India, diverse applications in the "Connected Home" and its potential evolutions in fleet management systems.
Participants heard how existing and evolving communication technologies networks (mostly wireless (cellular and low-power), but also fixed networks, including power line communications)
The workshop included two live demonstrations organised by InterDigital Inc. These demonstrated an M2M gateway and core network, and an M2M Wireless Personal Area Network (sensors connecting via low-power wireless devices to a database, simulating e-Health, home automation and security application scenarios). The implementations were based on current specifications from ETSI's M2M Technical Committee and confirmed both the effectiveness of the implications and of the ETSI specifications. In addition, poster sessions presented the work of six research and development projects related to M2M and the Future Internet, part of the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme (FP7).
The standards work of ETSI's M2M Technical Committee is reaching an advanced stage, and many network operators are encouraging a first release of M2M standards by early 2011. The committee is currently finalising the architecture for the service platform that will enable the integration of multiple vertical M2M applications. The workshop confirmed that ETSI is well placed to address a vital aspect of standardisation in support of M2M – the specification of interfaces that will facilitate the interconnection and interoperability of the diverse applications and of the networks that will underlie them.
Marylin Arndt of France Telecom, Chairman of ETSI's M2M Technical Committee, said: "The committee will continue in its role of creating standards that build on what we already have, to ensure that the emerging 'vertical' M2M applications can be supported effectively. At the same time, the committee (and ETSI in general) has a vital responsibility to co-ordinate and direct the wider work on M2M. We are here to lead the way."
About Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications
Machine-to-Machine can be loosely defined as any communication without (or with only limited) human intervention:
About ETSI's Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Workshop
ETSI's 2010 Machine-to-Machine Workshop took place in the Agora, Sophia Antipolis, southern France, on 19 and 20 October 2010. It was open to all, free of charge.
Speakers' profiles, their presentations and the conclusions of the event can be found at:
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ETSI produces globally-applicable ICT standards, including fixed, mobile, radio, converged, aeronautical, broadcast and IP technologies. An independent, not-for-profit association, ETSI's 740 member companies come from 62 countries worldwide.