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Orange launches French smart metering operator

Telekom Austria has launched a smart metering platform designed as a software as a service (SaaS) solution

French incumbent Orange has launched a smart metering operator in partnership with water services firm Veolia Water. The new player, dubbed m2o city, makes use of the ISM (industrial, scientific and medical) radio network, rather than Orange’s cellular data network. Taisei Miura, CEO of m2o said that, while the firm will operate only in France to begin with, “there are some opportunities which could be considered outside of France.”

Veolia Water, which operates more than 200,000 French water meters said that it would use the metering service from m2o to improve quality of service to consumers, optimise performance and safeguard resources.

Vivek Badrinath, chief executive officer of Orange Business Services, said: “We are delighted to be working hand in hand with Veolia on this ambitious partnership. It is perfectly in line with our strategy: joining forces with a major business partner by providing our connectivity and information system management expertise in order to enable the emergence of new M2M services to be used as widely as possible”.

Telcos are increasingly looking to the M2M sector for growth as traditional markets become saturated. Ericsson’s prediction that there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020 has drawn a good deal of attention, but the reality is somewhat more modest. A handful of operators have released numbers for connected device subscriptions, and those numbers are small by comparison to traditional subscriber bases.

Vodafone has reported that it has five million M2M connections group-wide, which is chicken feed compared to its 4Q10 global proportionate subscriber base of more than 255 million (figures from Informa’s WCIS). Telefónica has claimed four million across its entire footprint, and boasts a total subscriber count of 219.7 million. US carrier AT&T currently leads the way, reporting more than 11 million M2M connections.


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