Zain Group and Vodafone have expanded their partner market agreement to deliver Machine-To-Machine (M2M) services to Enterprise and Government sectors in the Middle East.
M2M connects machines, devices, and appliances wirelessly to the Internet, transforming them into intelligent devices that exchange real time information and open up a range of possibilities for how businesses are run, how they grow, and how they keep customers happy. Advisory firm Gartner has forecast a 30-fold increase in Internet-connected physical devices by 2020, up to 26 billion devices.
Scott Gegenheimer, CEO of Zain Group commented, “The world is only just starting to appreciate the huge potential that comes from the real time monitoring and analysis of the Internet of Things and M2M traffic and the potential benefits of M2M to the communities we serve is far-reaching. Through this partnership with Vodafone, Zain will deliver M2M services to end-users in a cost-effective and scalable manner.”
Cost saving remains one of the primary drivers for businesses to adopt M2M solutions as it enables them to save time and money by optimising business processes. Benefits of M2M include enhanced energy efficiency, improving safety and security, supporting faster and better decision-making, and even enabling whole new products, services, and business models.
M2M communications are made possible by a device (such as a sensor) that is attached to a machine to capture an event that is relayed over a network delivering data to applications. The intelligent sensors are embedded in a remote asset and capture events such as temperature, location, consumption, heart rate, stress levels, light, movement, altitude and speed. These sensors include a SIM card that is able to receive and transmit the event data wirelessly to a central server where an application translates this data into meaningful information that can be analyzed and acted upon.
In addition, M2M communications can also be used to gain immediate feedback on how a particular remote asset is being used, which features are most popular and what problems such as errors or breakdowns typically arise. This information is useful for shortening the lead-time to an improved or updated version or for offering proactive services, thereby providing a competitive edge.
Zain will start rolling out M2M services in the second half of 2015 first in Kuwait on its super-fast nationwide 4G LTE network, with operations following in its other countries.