Your objectives are clear, and you are ready to implement a game changing wireless M2M, or Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), plan. The idea may be to reduce power consumption, automate processes, predict maintenance, monitor foot traffic or gain real-time insight into the condition of remote assets. Whatever your goal, ask these questions before taking the critical first step.

What is the deployment timeframe?

The viability of M2M and IIoT applications will generally increase in line with the number of years in operation. For the total cost of ownership to stay low, your M2M deployments should operate for at least a decade in the field.

When weighing up your cellular connectivity options, consider that by this time next year it will be difficult to guarantee 2G network availability, and beyond that it will be virtually impossible in many regions around the world. With 3G tipped to peak in 2018, the safest bet is 4G LTE.

As well as providing future-proof connectivity, 4G LTE delivers the speed, power and performance needed to manage large amounts of data from digital displays, smart buildings, remote healthcare, emergency response, business back-up and other bandwidth-intensive M2M applications.

How will the solution be adapted, scaled and integrated?

Think beyond your immediate and near term objectives, and consider the myriad of challenges, opportunities and unforeseen changes that will impact future business needs.

Networks, market trends and technologies are always evolving. To effectively adapt in line with these changes you need the capacity to build a flexibly integrated system using a wireless M2M device that enables interoperability with the end-to-end workings of the solution.

Choose an open non-proprietary M2M device that supports scalability by working with many different management platforms globally. Select a device that lets you integrate hardware, software, cloud service platforms and carrier networks your way.

The first step is to select an intelligent M2M device with a powerful processor as well as an open embedded Linux OS and Software Development Kit (SDK) so developers can add new applications and make changes without having to start from scratch.

Also look for an M2M device that supports remote management platforms and protocols such as LWM2M, and SNMP to allow quick and easy integration with a wide range of remote management platforms.

Is the solution fail-proof?

Consider paying a premium for 4G LTE devices that have failover connectivity to 3G, or even 2G depending on your region. This is especially important when M2M applications transmit business critical data from locations where the only connectivity option is cellular. A device with multiple cellular connectivity options will keep you connected if the 4G LTE connection drops out, and lets you rollout a single device to all of your sites – even where 4G LTE has not yet been introduced by your preferred network operator. This is especially important when considering a device for reliable mobile connectivity to time critical systems, tele-health services and disaster recovery applications by offering automatic failover to 3G when outside of 4G coverage areas.

Also be sure that you have a high level of support – both from the company that you buy the M2M hardware from, and from the mobile network operator that you choose to use.

Will the deployment withstand extreme conditions?

To ensure longevity in any environment, check that the M2M device has undergone extensive environmental testing under extreme conditions of temperature, shock and vibration. Heavy-duty industrial-grade 4G LTE devices are specially engineered to ensure that the electrical components operate at extreme temperatures. It pays to work with vendors that have in-house engineering teams and a proven track record of designing devices that withstand harsh industrial environments.

About NetComm Wireless

NetComm Wireless Limited (ASX: NTC) is a leading developer ofwireless Machine-to-Machine (M2M) devices that underpin an increasingly connected world. Leading telecommunications carriers, core network providers and system integrators utilise NetComm Wireless' 3G and 4G LTE solutions to optimise network performance and to support their connected products and services in the M2M and regional broadband markets. For the past 34 years, NetComm Wireless has developed a portfolio of world first data communication products, and is now a globally recognised wireless innovator. Headquartered in Sydney (Australia), NetComm Wireless has offices in the US, Europe/UK, New Zealand, Middle East and Japan. For more information, visit www.netcommwireless.com.