Should the mobile operators develop their own M2M platforms ?

A recent post on this topic indicated that the mobile operators are likely to follow the path of least resistance. Indeed, a company is likely to maximize profits and reduce costs. Best  choice ? Use existing technology at affordable costs in order to enter a market. Once foothold is established, everything is possible. By that I mean everything: either  continue to outsource services, either reinvent the wheel and exchange the bike  for a Honda.

Marketing history has shown that in the end, there are few rules to be respected and the victory belongs to the most audacious. Not creative, just bold. Today, the first criterium is the ratio cost-benefits.  Let’s face it, M2M is still a wild technology, lacking standardization.  I admire the efforts of the guys at Oasis. They really do a great job. Still, there are a few things to add. First, standardization in telecom industry is slow-paced. Then, first draft is jus t an untested idea. Last, but not least, All needs to be supported by the stakeholders, i.e. mobile operators. If it was the case, there would be already a standard in place.

The way the game is played, it is obvious that the major carriers are expecting the failure of early adopters, before making their moves. Every mistake costs dearly and shareholders    love one thing: the yearly coupon. It is really a strategic game of  hide and seek, only that at some moment in the future, one will have to make a move, neither too early, nor too late. And the first mobile operator to make such move will win the jackpot.

The question is not whether the telecom companies should implement in-house  M2M platforms. The real question is when and the answer to it is intertwined withe the answer to other question: when will the economy begin to function again. The existing market is saturated and the price to open a new one is high. The best choice is to wait.

The final answer to the question is no, not today, unless one can control the market the way the iPad did. I firmly believe there are tens of possible markets for new products. I think of some and if I do, then there must be other people ready to deploy bold creations, the way Apple did.

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