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M2M Spectrum Launches Nationwide Wireless Machine-to-Machine Network

The new company intends to deploy its network in 194 cities this year, to enable data from RFID readers and other types of devices to be sent to Internet-based servers without requiring a cellular or Wi-Fi connection.
By Claire Swedberg

For example, a company that tags assets at an oil field may currently use a cellular connection to forward RFID data from GlobeRanger's iMotion Edge Controller software to a server, or to store data to be uploaded, if the Edge Controller has no Internet connection. In this case, the company could connect the smallest M2M Spectrum cognitive radio to an onsite computer via an Ethernet connection, in order to transmit the data back to a server via the M2M Spectrum network.

The Edgeware platform will interpret data and forward it to the M2M network, and the company also intends to publish application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs) to allow programmers to program their own configurations.

GlobeRanger's George Brody
If a vehicle were moving tagged items from one site to another, instead of dropping out of the system entirely, an RFID reader could also be installed on a vehicle and send data back while it is en route via M2M Spectrum's midsize and gateway cognitive radios installed on towers and utility poles, spaced two miles apart or more. The reader's iMotion middleware would feed its data to a computer connected via an Ethernet cable to an M2M Spectrum radio that would then forward that data to a server.

In the long run, Knapp envisions the system being used ubiquitously as part of the M2M management of things, with radios even receiving data related to the reads of pet transponders. However, he says, RFID devices will initially represent only a small percentage of the devices using the network.

Knapp intends to begin working with smaller clients (end users), though he expects large companies to start piloting the technology in the future. GlobeRanger and M2M Spectrum Networks have yet to identify which GlobeRanger customer will trial the technology first.

M2M Spectrum Networks has selected Crown Castle for its tower-leasing and site-development services. Once the system is up and running, users would be billed according to a percentage of the application's determined value. Thus, smaller applications may cost less than larger ones, Knapp explains, though the network would not charge per tag or reader used.

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