By 2020, there will be 26 billion devices connected on the Internet of Things (IoT) across a wide range of vertical sectors worldwide. Over the next 5 to 10 years, almost everything that can be connected will be connected, resulting in staggering year-on-year hikes in IP network traffic.[1] According to IDC, those that have the most to again also have the most to lose, particularly when impacted by networks degraded by data overload. Achieving always-on connectivity is becoming ever more critical as manufacturing plants, hospitals, utilities, infrastructure providers and enterprises increasingly depend on real-time data flows from their remote assets.

While a number of governments and large enterprises have commenced commercial M2M deployments in areas such as smart metering, traffic infrastructure and healthcare, most large-scale projects remain in trial and certification stages. Upon completion of these pilots and trials, the number of connected devices is set to soar, putting extra pressure on global networks. The challenge for operators is to keep mission-critical devices and systems connected when networks become overloaded.

The NSW State Government's 1.2 billion dollar Opal card project is vastly improving transport efficiencies using NetComm Wireless' Machine-to-Machine (M2M) routers to monitor and manage the real time status of ticketing machines and other critical devices on connected buses, trains and ferries across the state. But the benefits achieved by the state-wide deployment depend on network performance and availability, without which the consequences can be disastrous. NetComm Wireless therefore develops M2M devices designed to ensure business continuity in all circumstances.

The recently launched 4G WiFi M2M Router (NTC-140W) establishes a super-fast connection to global 4G LTE networks and offers penta-band 3G support covering 3G networks worldwide. The device ensures reliable connectivity to time critical systems, tele-health services and disaster recovery applications by automatically switching 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.

Operators are moving quickly to capture the tremendous opportunities presented by M2M, and many are delivering the end-to-end services needed to gain a leading advantage. To win large contracts and achieve sustained success, it is vital that operators back M2M and IoT deployments with always-on network and application connectivity.

[1] International Data Corporation (IDC). Business continuity and quality of service: The keys to CSP success in the age of IoT. M2M Now Magazine. March 2015.