Super Bowl 2008 showcased not only athletic talent but also the growing presence of M2M (Machine-to-Machine) technology. Both the New York Giants and the New England Patriots employed cellular M2M and GPS systems in team vehicles, ensuring the wellbeing of all players and employees by tracking each vehicle's location and continuously updating the pertinent travel schedules.

M2M technology in this context enables a level of efficiency by surveying vehicle speed and global location, and projecting an estimated time of arrival. Similar uses for M2M technology can be found in industries that distribute goods en masse, and in companies that wish to oversee shipments of expensive items.

In traditional consumer/business voice and data services, coverage is not a significant issue; and roaming, while expensive, is often a rare occurrence. "In the M2M field, unlike other mobile markets, coverage and roaming are significant challenges," says ABI Research senior analyst Sam Lucero. "M2M application providers may deploy devices that are mobile over extremely large geographic areas, such as in long-haul trucking telematics in North America. Or, the application provider may deploy fixed devices over a large, even international geographic area."

ABI Research categorizes into four key models the essence of how M2M applications can be developed and brought to market:

1. Companies can develop an application in-house with or without the aid of consultants, such as IBM or SAIC.


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