Everything is clearer in hindsight. Looking back, we often believe that what was obvious in retrospect was obvious all along, and early Machine-to-Machine (M2M) deployments are no exception.

First movers faced a very different set of challenges, and the way forward was not as clear as it is today. The earliest adopters relied on dial-up to connect and manage assets such as ATMs, commercial fridges and photocopiers. It was impossible to foresee the location flexibility, mobility and always-on connectivity that was to come later with the introduction of wireless networks. And it was a time of high deployment costs, complexity and proprietary systems that kept M2M beyond the reach of most businesses.

Today, nine out of ten businesses say that M2M is relevant to their organisation, and many are already seeing results with 59% of those using M2M reporting significant ROI, up from 46% last year, according to Vodafone’s latest M2M Barometer report. Businesses of all sizes are backed by tremendous technological advances, and we now have the foresight needed prepare our technology for the changes affecting M2M.

Future-proof your technology

Network evolution has introduced a level of speed, coverage and capacity that makes it possible to connect and manage virtually anything, anywhere. It’s a win for businesses with the future-ready technology in place to capture new opportunities; but can pose a threat to businesses that fail to keep up with the pace of change.

As we’ve learned from companies that entered the wireless M2M market some years ago, if you want your M2M solution to last the distance – future-proofing your technology is a must. Companies are already being hit by the unavoidable cost of replacing perfectly functional 2G devices in the field as carriers including Telstra and Optus in Australia, and AT&T in the U.S. switch off their 2G networks to refarm the spectrum for 4G.

Reduce the total cost of ownership

The longer a device functions in the field, the higher the overall return on investment will be. With every wireless network technology evolving faster than the one before, it pays to invest in a 4G LTE M2M device that features automatic failover to 3G when outside of 4G coverage areas, and instant fall-back to 4G when the Gigabit Ethernet ports are used as an alternate Internet connection. By choosing a 4G M2M device that offers multiple cellular connectivity options you can commence a rollout to all of your sites – even where 4G LTE has not yet been introduced by your preferred carrier network.

Evolve with your business

Businesses are continually changing, so there’s no point in investing in a proprietary technology that doesn’t have the flexibility to adapt and grow with your business. Using an intelligent M2M router that features a powerful processor for optimal performance as well as an open embedded Linux Operating System and SDK, you’ll have the capacity to create your own applications and to adapt M2M implementations over time.

Look for a device that supports remote management protocols such as LWM2M, TR-069 and SNMP to allow quick and easy integration with a wide range of remote management platforms.

Using a scalable solution it's possible to start small and gradually accommodate more complex applications and newer technologies as the business evolves; and a device that’s certified for use on global networks will give you the freedom to expand into new regions.

Endure extreme conditions

There’s a strong case to be made for heavy-duty industrial-grade 4G LTE devices that are specially engineered to ensure that the electrical components operate at extreme temperatures. To ensure longevity in any environment, check that the M2M device has undergone extensive environmental testing under extreme conditions of temperature, shock and vibration.

NetComm Wireless’ future-ready 4G LTE M2M devices are globally certified and designed to bring greater speed, reliability and security to data intensive applications such as video surveillance, in-vehicle communications, digital signage and business continuity applications anywhere.