M2M - The Industry

There are certain sounds in my life that I am glad I don't have to hear any more.  I remember the screeching of nails on a chalk board....I remember the awful noise that my mom's antique mixer would make (not to mention that the shielding was so bad on that thing, it would actually scramble my TV in the other room!)....and, like you, I remember the awful sound that my "state of the art" 56K dial up modem would make when I logged on to painfully download email in the late 90s.

Well, what is old is new again, at least in the world of wireless M2M!

Quick, have you used a 56K dial up modem in the past 5 years?  I bet you have, you just may not have known about it.  You see, a shocking amount of connection in today's hyper-fast digital world is done over legacy landline based connections.  Ranging from banking machines to utility meters to Out of Band management for routers, landline technology is still alive and well in much of our lives, even if you haven't used one at home since Frasier left the air.

Has landline gotten better than when we all used AOL to discover chat rooms?


Well, not really.  It still has its limitations.  Besides the obvious speed thing, it still requires you to set up a demarcation point for where you want to start the connection.  This means not only expensive wiring, but it also means that you don't have a ton of flexibility on placement and you really can't pick up and move to a new location quite that easily.

Wireless data = landline reinvented


Some new solutions are going to be out shortly to help give you the flexibility that you never had in a wireline connection before.  Using a 3G modem, a converter card is able to provide a true landline experience for your remote device in the field that is expecting to connect using those annoying screeches.  And, since you now have the flexibility of wireless (easy set-up, easy to move around, easy to increase signal when needed), you are able to set up landline connections in minutes, not weeks and at a fraction of the cost.

As well, you now have a lot of billing flexibility.  As I recall, landline offered a nice benefit of a fixed cost for pretty much unlimited usage.  And, if you were using it to connect to browse the Internet 23 hours a day, it is likely a better deal than using cellular data as a transport.  However, this isn't how most data lines are used.  Most of them are used as little as a few minutes per day and send as little as 5MB per month.  When you look at what costs for a wireless rate plan of that size, it makes the ROI to use wireless products to give you your wireline experience quite compelling.

Using superfast wireless connectivity to give you a dial up line....isn't that taking a step back?


The obvious question is: "If you are using a cellular connection for the dial up line, why don't we just switch over to an Ethernet based connection and be done with it?"  For some, this is what they may do, however, it may not be an option for many others.  The cost of switching may be much more than the device itself, as it may require companies to change out entire backend systems to move from dialup to IP and many of them either don't have the money or have better things to do than to fix a solution that is working well.

Another obvious question is: "Aren't landlines going away soon, so should they not be moving over to cellular anyways?"  Another valid point and if you are looking at some of the more advanced solutions, you'll have your cake and be able to eat it too.  Most of the higher end offerings in this space offer not only an RJ-11 (dialup) port, but also an Ethernet port.  So, once you make the switch on the back end away from dial up, you may make some simple changes on the device and change cables....

As a final benefit, you also get another free nugget for using this service....two applications for the price of one.  Many people use dial-up modems as a method of connecting to a key server (such as a Cisco) in a manner called Out of Band management.  This increases IP security and reduces the threat of someone making changes to key servers if they gain access to the room.  So, while you can use the RJ-11 port for this OOB Management, you shouldn't forget about the Ethernet port....which you can use as a redundant path to the Internet for the main traffic of your modem in the event of a failure.

The Bottom Line


Ok, if we are going to go back to 1999, can I not only get my hair back but also be able to purchase shares in companies like RIM and Under Armor?  While we can't go back in time, at least not unless you are Superman or the Flash, we can find solutions that better extend the life and usability of solutions that most people would be surprised to find out we still all use on a regular basis....just don't make us listen to the screech! 

As always, Novotech is ready to assist with your M2M needs. Whether you’re looking to control, track, monitor or back-up, Novotech has the solutions and products you need. View our Line Cards and let us know how we can be of assistance.




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