ABI: short range WLAN complements cellular in embedded M2M apps - Embedded.com

ABI: short range WLAN complements cellular in embedded M2M apps

Scottsdale, Az. – Twopreviously separate markets – short-range wireless embedded sensor netsand long distance cellular machine to machine linkages ” areincreasingly being bundled together to deploy M2M services, accordingto ABI Research.

“The addition of short-range wireless to cellular M2M extends itsreach into the local deployment area,” said ABI senior analyst Sam Lucero.”Some applications need that or can benefit from it; others don't andcan't.”

According to the ABI study, short-range wireless technologies areexpected to have a significant impact on market growth for certaintypes ofcellular machine-to-machine modules.

“This will mean that by 2011, shipments of cellular M2M modules insectorsaffected by short-range wireless will be, at over 45 million,” he said.”more than double those in segments (such as telemedicine, informationdisplay, vending machines and ATMs) where that impact is not felt.”

Lucero said there are basically four venues where M2M technology,broadly defined, can be deployed: in the home, in commercial buildings,in industrial facilities, and the “wide area”, where services may reachinto one of the above locations, but do so via a cellular M2M module.Wide area venues also include mobile assets such as long-haul trucking,fleet management, and passenger vehicle telematics.

Some M2M environments, where building owners deploy short-rangewirelessapplications, generally have access to a LAN or a wired internetconnection and do not need backhaul by means of a cellular connection.But telematics, automation control, metering and security applicationsall benefit from having an extension of the cellular connection outthrough sort-range wireless, said Lucero.

“There is certainly an opportunity for collaboration on the part ofshort-range wireless vendors and cellular M2M technology vendors,” hesaid. “Except at the IC level, (think of TI, which makes both ZigBeeand cellular chips) you don't see many vendors working in both arenas.

“At the module and equipment levels, we see more specialization. Wethink that vendors on both sides should be looking for areas where theycan form partnerships.”

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