Wednesday, 04 February 2015 01:52

M2M: Vodafone connects the unconnected with MachineLink 3G Plus


A new alternative for unconnected machines that need a larger selection of interface options has been unveiled by telco giant Vodafone and network equipment specialist Netcomm.

Developed by Netcomm Wireless as a bespoke solution for Vodafone, which enjoys over 20 years experience in the M2M arena, the new ‘Vodafone MachineLink 3G Plus’ is the latest addition to the telco’s Integrated M2M Terminals range.

It is designed to ‘facilitate the uptake of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) across a multitude of industries globally’, its multitude of features ‘enables M2M connectivity in areas such as healthcare, agriculture, vending, point of payment and energy.’

A massive global market not just in the making but well on the move, it was only in late January that iTWire wrote of analyst firm Frost and Sullivan’s predictions that the Australian M2M market alone would double its 2013 value by 2016.

One can only marvel at just how gigantic the global M2M market is going to be.

Indeed, Vodafone itself published its second annual M2M Adoption Barometer in July 2014, and found that ‘M2M adoption has grown more than 80%, with over one-fifth of companies actively using the technology.’

On top of that, Vodafone also published its set of 2015 M2M predictions in late January 2015, which is available for you to read here

Thus does Vodafone have great expectations for its new MachineLink 3G Plus, stating that it is ‘expected to advance this growth by allowing businesses to upgrade from legacy serial connectivity to IP connectivity with access to a broader range of connection choices.’

Netcomm Wireless CEO and MD, David Stewart said: “The Vodafone MachineLink 3G Plus is the second bespoke product developed for Vodafone which gives businesses the ability to select the best solution for their individual applications.

“It presents a tremendous opportunity for businesses that need extra options to connect and manage valuable assets.”

So, what is within this new M2M machine?

We’re told that the ‘Vodafone MachineLink 3G Plus is a 3G penta-band modem and router with built-in GPS, seamless compatibility with Vodafone or Vodafone M2M partner networks worldwide, and the Vodafone M2M Global Platform.’

In addition, the device supports ‘multiple communication protocols and interface options with features including Ethernet, Serial (RS232/422/485), I/O and USB 2.0 ports.’

But that’s not all. Designed for flexible customisation, the Vodafone MachineLink 3G Plus also features an embedded Software Development Kit (SDK) and open source Linux OS to support unique business functions.

Vodafone says its Machine-to-Machine (M2M) initiative ‘connects previously isolated machines or devices to the internet, delivering new functionality and enhanced services without the need for human intervention.’

Supported by more than 1,300 dedicated employees, Vodafone boasts its global M2M platform makes it easy for global businesses to manage centrally M2M deployments across multiple territories, with greater control and at a lower cost than previously possible.

The company also trumpets the fact it was was named global M2M leader by Machina Research in 2014 - for the third year in a row. More information on Vodafone M2M is here.

Additional information on the MachineLink 3G Plus is here.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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