In the wake of its failed merger with AT&T, T-Mobile USA is bringing attention to its efforts in the M2M space at this year’s annual Connected World conference outside of Chicago.
“We’re really here to reaffirm our company’s strategy and commitment to the space,” said Jeremy Korst, vice president of M2M and MVNO for T-Mobile, when reached by phone at the conference.
Korst said T-Mobile and its partners have their hands in a number of verticals, from mHealth to automotive. In fact, Audi recently announced T-Mobile as its carrier of choice for connecting its luxury vehicles, such as the A8 and A7. Korst is quick to point out that Connected World magazine just voted the Audi A8 the connected car of the year.
While AT&T and Verizon Wireless have taken a decidedly hands-on approach to M2M, Korst highlights T-Mobile’s more partner-oriented strategy.
“What we’re doing is working with some key partners to make their businesses successful,” Korst said.
Key partners include end-to-end solutions providers like Raco Wireless and Wyless, among others.
Raco today announced from Connected World that it has signed on mobile payments provider Apriva as a customer.
Apriva will utilize Raco Wireless to support Apriva's point of sale customers that use payment terminals running on T-Mobile’s 2G network.
Krost said that while T-Mobile has the capability to deliver coverage for video and data-intensive applications on its HSPA+ network, it believes 2G can serve just as many applications that don’t require this kind of bandwidth.
“We intend to continue to support our 2G and 3G networks for the foreseeable future," Korst said. “We’re not forcing our customers to move from 2G to 3G or 4G, but rather we’re really focusing on building the best solution at the lowest cost that meets their specific needs.”
Korst said T-Mobile has had customers who say that the cost of moving their solution from 2G to 3G could be upwards of ten times the cost of just maintain their solution on 2G.
Meanwhile, Wyless, another T-Mobile partner in the M2M space, is taking Connected World as an opportunity to champion its customers’ various green solutions. From solar-powered, wireless parking meters that allow credit card payments to a web-based irrigation control system, the solutions from IPS Group, GreenRoad, Weathermatic and EDC Technologies all are managed by Wyless but run over T-Mobile’s network.
Korst says it’s all part of a growing market that includes hot areas like home security and monitoring, automotive, mHealth and others.
For a carrier like T-Mobile that doesn’t have the iPhone and has been struggling with high churn, growth in areas like M2M will be key going forward.
“We’re very much betting a number of key innovative partners to work with very closely and drive growth in the market, as well as in providing the full capabilities of our robust nationwide wireless network,” Korst said.
Today marks the last day for the Connected World conference, which runs from June 11-13 at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Ill.