Huawei (Shenzhen, China) has announced the start of a major M2M push in Europe as it aims to become the dominant player in the nascent industry.
China’s largest networks vendor has spent the last few months signing distribution agreements for its embedded modules in Europe’s biggest markets.
It now counts m2m Germany, Simple Solutions (UK), Sagitron (Spain and Portugal), Matrix (Spain), BE Telecom (Belgium and Israel), Netcom (Poland) and Techship (Sweden) among its partners, and says further deals are in the pipeline this year.
The company also has a partnership with smart-grid specialist Landis+Gyr in the UK, where authorities want every household and business to be fitted with a smart meter by 2019.
Analysts are predicting annual growth of between 20% and 30% for the worldwide M2M industry, and expect some 12 billion mobile devices to be connected to the internet by 2020.
Speaking to M2M Zone, Georg Steimel, Huawei’s head of M2M solutions, says the company’s distribution partners are already in negotiations with customers and expecting business later this year.
Steimel says the energy sector is the most promising short-term opportunity for M2M vendors because of government initiatives in this area, but he cites market structure as the other critical driver of M2M take-up.
“Smart metering has already been deployed in Italy because ENEL has a monopoly in the Italian market, and so there was just one decision maker,” he says.
“In Germany, we’ve had discussions about standards going on for years as well as lots of local utilities involved in decision-making. If you have many small parties it is much more difficult to have widespread deployment in the short term,” Steimel says.
Huawei hopes it can become as successful in Europe’s M2M markets as it has been in China, where it claims a 40% share of the market for embedded modules.
One challenge for the Chinese company will be to satisfy European regulatory requirements, which are typically more demanding than rules in China, Steimel says.
Huawei says its embedded modules are available in all common form factors, including LCC, LGA, board-to-board and miniPCie.
The company has also launched three new embedded modules for the automotive market. Two work on HSPA+ cellular networks and one uses LTE.