Bamboo Technology Group Ltd. (Bamboo), provider of managed ICT services, has announced the launch of its direct M2M offering. First launched exclusively to channel partners via the Total Partner Programme in October 2015 (with the first SIMs going live in January 2016), Bamboo's M2M SIMs are now available to all customers.
M2M, or machine-to-machine, is the data connectivity for the 'Internet of Things' (or IoT), the next wave of the Internet in which devices of every kind are connecting to the Internet to become smarter. Early examples of IoT services are smart meters for providing real-time information on energy use, internet-enabled cars with live weather and traffic information, and vehicle trackers in vans that can provide more accurate timeslots for deliveries.
IoT, and the M2M connectivity for it, are predicted to grow considerably over the next decade. According to Machina Research, cellular M2M connections in particular are predicted to grow from 256 million in late 2014 to 2.2 billion devices by 2024*, as the total number of M2M devices is expected to reach 27 billion devices by 2024.
Bamboo's M2M service is designed for businesses that need reliable, multi-network data connectivity for IoT services they are considering to build, or have already built. Bamboo can provide its M2M data connectivity on a wholesale pence-per-kilobyte basis, or in bespoke data bundles to suit the customer's individual needs.
Bamboo's M2M customers will gain access to its market-leading customer service and pre-sales team to help customers determine how they can leverage M2M connectivity in their business. Potential opportunities include:
- Launching new revenue-generating 'smart' products and services
- Streamlining internal processes
- Improving control over existing data connectivity costs
- Gaining greater transparency and control when supporting internal customers
As a strong believer in playing the long game, Bamboo will work closely with its customers to ensure the commercial viability of any new M2M/IoT propositions prior to launch.
Additional benefits of Bamboo's M2M service include:
- Bamboo's M2M SIMs operate on all UK major networks and on over 600 networks globally (including 4G coverage in 26 countries). This is due to an international roaming agreement with Telefonica.
- Flat rate international roaming: Providing the SIM stays within its data allowance, there is no additional charge for using the M2M SIM abroad
- Extensive monitoring and control features via the Cisco Jasper IoT services platform. This enables Bamboo and their customers to tailor their M2M services more precisely to include data alerts for customers or near real-time switching of data plans.
- IPSec VPN for advanced network integration.
- Flexible deployment options such as the provision of test-ready SIMS
"The Internet of Things has ushered in a whole new era of innovation," comments Lorrin White, MD of Bamboo. "No industry will be left untouched by the disruption and positive change that IoT will bring. The interest among our partners over the last year has been incredibly exciting. We have seen the creation of profitable and innovative new IoT services. But we know we are at the tip of the iceberg. I cannot wait to see what our customers build in the future when leveraging M2M connectivity."
One customer already working with Bamboo and demonstrating the potential of M2M is Protrack Solutions, a provider of vehicle telematics solutions for the logistics industry. It's Protracker Pluss solution allows businesses to track their vehicles in real-time, providing GPS location data and information on driving performance such as acceleration, braking, cornering and speed, in addition to providing two-way communication with drivers via SMS messaging. With Protracker Pluss's data connectivity previously tied to just one network, coverage blackspots were a perennial problem as customers' vehicles travelled across the country. Without reliable data connectivity, Protrack's core proposition and long-term growth prospects were being severely compromised.
Bamboo worked closely with Protrack to design a bespoke M2M solution which delivered reliable network connectivity across the country, was quick and inexpensive to deploy (since each SIM is pre-loaded with enough data for testing) and can be scaled up automatically as new services were sold to customers. Bamboo's bespoke M2M tariff provides each SIM with 4Mb of inclusive global, multi-network data per month. For additional flexibility and protection against unexpected charges, the 4Mb per-SIM data allowance is pooled amongst all of Protrack's SIMs; therefore if one device uses more than the allocated 4Mb in one month, its usage is offset against a device which uses less. In addition to the pooled data allowance, the multi-network SIMs also switch automatically to the network that provides the best signal, ensuring that Protrack can stay in touch with its vehicles at all times.
Tracey Pope, Operations and Support Director at Protrack Solutions comments on their use of Bamboo's M2M service, "Bamboo designed an M2M solution specifically for our needs. They took the time to understand our business and proposed a solution that is completely tailored to our requirements, in both tariff and design. It is a genuine partnership. Our Bamboo account team know our business intimately, and I can pop into their offices at any time to brief them on our latest product plans and have a productive conversation about how best to deliver the connectivity for it."
Further to its telematics solution, Protrack is currently working with Bamboo to develop a brand new smart padlock for launch in 2017 that will revolutionise security in the shipping and construction industries (among many others).
For more on Bamboo's M2M service and to discover how M2M could potentially enhance your business, contact the team directly.
* Global M2M market to grow to 27 billion devices, generating USD1.6 trillion in 2024, Machina Research, 24th June 2015.