Ericsson furthers M2M and video commitment

Ericsson added to its flurry of recent announcements at this morning’s press conference at MWC 2013.

Today’s announcements follow similar themes to the others (M2M and video) and fit neatly with Ericsson’s vision for the “networked society”. However, they are more than just theory or a new product, with Ericsson revealing that operators are already using the services.

In the case of M2M, we question whether there could be greater opportunities for Ericsson if it were to bypass operators altogether, albeit at the risk of alienating its close customer relationships.

The first announcement was related to M2M, with Ericsson and SAP combining to provide cloud-based management of M2M implementations.

Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform and Service Enablement Platform will be combined with SAP’s HANA platform in an offering to mobile operators that will provide enterprises with end-to-end management of M2M solutions.

Closer integration of the M2M operational ecosystem has been needed for many years and this is another sign that M2M is maturing.

Significantly, Ericsson unveiled two operators – Telenor Connexion and 3UK – to boost the solution’s credibility. However, the value added by telcos beyond connectivity strikes us as limited.

As we have said in the past, there is an opportunity for SAP and/or Ericsson to sell directly to enterprises and only bring in appropriate operator support when necessary. However, Ericsson’s extensive operator relationships will be a key barrier to the adoption of this approach.

The second announcement, which also came with operator support, involved Ericsson’s Evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) to deliver broadcast video over LTE. Ericsson’s Consumer Labs has found that 67% of consumers use mobile devices to consume TV services, meaning that managing traffic efficiently is vital for profitability and the customer experience.

Significantly, Ericsson announced that Verizon Wireless will launch the service in 2014, while Telstra will trial the solution later this year.

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