EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: US operator Sprint Nextel believes the nascent machine-to-machine (M2M) sector will fuel mobile growth in the next few years and serve as a competitive differentiator in the hunt for new customers.
“I think the industry itself is going to be riding a very large growth curve over the next 3, 5 to even 10 years around connected devices versus the standard way we’ve taken a look at the marketplace from a human subscriber perspective,” Wayne Ward, VP of the carrier’s Emerging Solutions business unit, told Mobile World Live.
“This is not only a good growth opportunity for Sprint, this represents a growth opportunity for our entire industry… Because we’re all focused in this space it’s creating opportunity as module prices are going down and the proliferation of devices are going up; therefore the technology is more readily available to the masses… We’re at a different portion of the growth curve than we are on the phone subscriber side.”
The M2M sector is increasingly being relied upon as the mobile industry’s next great growth sector, with Ericsson making the high-profile prediction that there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020. As previously reported, Sprint’s Ward claims this forecast could even be conservative. Elsewhere in the new interview, Ward responds to concern that US operators are holding back the potential of the market by only offering proprietary solutions, while he also outlines how the company’s Network Vision project is supporting its M2M strategy.