Telit’s M2M tech to foster microfinance sector

Telit Communication is looking at tapping into the Indian market, once the Unique Identification Number (UID) project throws up new opportunities for the poor among the country’s 1.2 billion population to achieve financial mobility.

“We are already into AMR (automated meter reading) applications for power utilities in India, which enable utilities to monitor how much power is consumed by industrial consumers and how much is billed back and whether there was any theft on the way between on transformer and the other. The next upcoming market that we are seeing a huge potential in, is microfinance,” Ashish Gulati, country manager (India), Telit Communication, told Business Standard.

Today, around 40 per cent of the Indian population does not have access to financing for different reasons. Now with the UID project, each of the individuals could get access to banking facilities and open accounts remotely via a handheld machine. The handheld device will be remotely accessed to the central server of the bank, which will be powered by GSM wireless M2M modules, he said.

Telit, which started its India operations this February, has 50 distribution partners in 26 countries, including three in India that provide technical and logistics support to its customers.

Right now, we are working with most of the hardware equipment manufacturers and are also in talks with some of the microfinance institutions. It, however, is difficult to share numbers in terms of deals or revenues now, as we need to support our customers in their machine design using our M2M technology modules. This whole process takes a development cycle of six-eight months,” Gulati added.

M2M refers to technologies that allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same ability. According to a Juniper Research report, M2M connections will be the catalyst for more than $35 billion of service revenues across a diverse range of industry sectors by the end of 2016.

Gulati said M2M had been evolving in India since the last five years and that the market was not really aware of what exactly M2M is.

The real full-fledged M2M market in India is yet to be evolved. AMR and microfiance are just the beginning. In fact, every machine at you home can be interconnected through M2M modules. This, however, will take a couple of more years to happen,” he said.

Telit, which acquired the M2M division of Motorola this March, reported global revenues of $131 million in 2010. It’s forecast for the 2011 calendar is $200 million, Gulati added.

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