Machine-to-machine wireless communication could soon emerge as a major source of telecommunications growth, according to Unwired’s CEO David Spence.
Speaking to Computerworld, Spence said that with cheaper and faster wireless connectivity machines and devices such as smart meters, traffic lights, vending machines, electronic advertising and surveillance cameras would increasingly communicate and be operated wirelessly.
“The tremendous growth in the future is all going to come out of machine-to-machine connections,” he said. “The wireless world will enable a whole plethora of different applications which connect machines which become very useful.
“Ten years ago we used to fight over seven million households in Australia for Internet connections, and now we fight over 21 million people to get Internet into a device they use on a personal basis. I think in five years time we will be fighting over 100 million machine-to-machine connections.”
Bandwidth needs of machines would vary from low but steady traffic flow smart meters through to high uplink capacity in the instance of surveillance cameras; thus providing potential revenue for both Unwired and its spin-off consumer network Vivid Wireless, Spence said.
Vivid Wireless to roll out nation-wide by 2012
He also flagged that Vivid Wireless intended to roll its 4G service out to the remaining capital cities by 2012, where Unwired already owns the spectrum required to offer the high-speed wireless.
“That’s the 2.3Ghz to 2.4Ghz spectrum which we have had for some time and have not used yet; we have kept it mainly for this kind of technology (4G) once it had come of age,” he said. “We knew that wireless growth would be astronomical and you would need a lot of spectrum to deploy low cost networks otherwise there would be too many towers and too much infrastructure.”
Spence said he believed that many 3G wireless service operators were being challenged by the ever increasing demands for both higher speeds and high data download demands from their customers.
“The 3G networks are struggling just delivering half a gig of data a month and we think in a year or two’s time the average customer will be wanting five Gb of data, so it’s about building wireless networks that can deliver that throughput at broadband speeds in an wireless way and at an affordable way,” he said.
“[3G providers] are not built on big spectrum layers - most are 2.5 MHz with one for the uplink and one for the downlink. The starting point of [Vivid Wireless] will be 30MHz with the ability to grow to 80Ghz - eight times the pipe size.”
When the Vivid Wireless network is nationally available Unwired will migrate its consumer customers to the new brand, leaving Unwired to focus on the business and machine-to-machine wireless market, Spence said.
“By then the old network won’t be capable of providing the speeds or bandwidth the new network will provide so they will migrate anyway,” he said. “Other than the 2.3 to 2.4 spectrum range we own 3.4 to 3.5 spectrum range and are using that for fixed wireless services for the corporate market which we want to grow, so there will be plenty of work for me to do.”