By Jordi Castellvi, Director of Product Management, Clearing Services
Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications represents a developing revenue opportunity for mobile network operators. M2M differs in various ways from subscriber based services. Quite apart from higher data usage, accompanied by considerably lower ARPU, M2M SIMs can exist in a hybrid permanent roaming state, where non-geographical M2M SIMs are being deployed. This is particularly important for M2M applications including telematics, consumer devices, logistics and fleet management.
Analyst firm Berg Insight forecasts that global shipments of cellular M2M devices will grow at CAGR of 24.6% through to 2016, reaching 152.2 million units. The total number of cellular M2M connections, taking replacement business into consideration is forecast to grow at CAGR 27.2% between 2011 and 2016 to reach 359.3 million by the end of 2016.
For MNOs, success in M2M requires not just an appreciation of the differences between M2M and traditional subscriber businesses, but also the ability to deploy and support services working in conjunction with a number of different value chain partners. In the case of non-geographical M2M SIM deployment, there is a need for both continuity in terms of clearing and settlement services, as well as an ability to harness and use the data being generated by M2M devices, not only to monitor the M2M service interactions, but also to be able to develop and expand M2M service provisions.
MACH actively supports global M2M connectivity and service roll-out for its customers through a unique combination of data clearing, financial settlement, business intelligence, fraud prevention and revenue assurance services. From a roaming and data clearing perspective, MACH manages the loading of M2M roaming agreements and handles all M2M roaming back office functions. Traditional data clearing services are supplemented by file splitting and invoice generation. Data Clearing and Financial Settlement services also integrate with MACH’s data warehousing application (MACH SMART) to ensure that intelligence about M2M services is made available in near real-time.
For M2M roaming, MACH combines its proven data clearing capabilities, together with advanced business intelligence techniques, to help operators identify and understand M2M module usage at device level (IMEI), aggregate IMSI range or even individual IMSI level. Customers can use MACH’s online ‘Roaming Implementation Manager’ portal to establish processes and roaming agreements for M2M services quickly and efficiently. The additional capability provided by MACH’s ‘M Protect’ revenue protection capability ensures that fraudulent activity is minimised and that M2M revenue assurance processes can be properly managed.
 Berg Insight: ‘The Global Wireless M2M Market’ – M2M Research Series 2012