February 01, 2012

T-Mobile M2M Spinoff Expedites Onboarding

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 2012 issue of Next Gen Mobility

You may not have heard of RACO Wireless, but you no doubt are familiar with T-Mobile.

Never fear, this isn’t another story about AT&T (News - Alert) and T-Mobile. Rather, it’s about the former M2M business of T-Mobile, which is now its own entity called RACO Wireless.

John Horn, the president of RACO Wireless, recently moved to beautiful Scottsdale, Ariz., where I met with him late last year to discuss the company and how it’s positioned in the M2M space. A former T-Mobile (News - Alert) leader, Horn took over as president of RACO last year after it was separated from T-Mobile, which remains a key partner of RACO.

The separation was needed, Horn says, because M2M is starting to move at the pace of the Internet, and spinning off the group from T-Mobile allowed it to respond more quickly to the requirements of this blossoming marketplace. Horn believes M2M may have hit the turn in the hockey stick given that customer education, network pricing and module pricing have come together to create critical mass across various verticals.

Fleet management and vending were among the early applications for M2M, but it’s since expanded to address a variety of other applications and verticals. One of the spaces that has exploded for M2M, Horn says, is auto finance. The automobile financier can put an M2M device in a vehicle that allows it to turn off the starter if the borrower doesn’t make good on the loan. Horn says that the default rate for autos with such devices is the same as for customers with good credit.

Security is another area of explosive growth for M2M, Horn continues, adding that he thinks within two years security will go entirely wireless.

But medicine has the biggest potential for M2M, according to Horn, who talks about the large number of people today with monitors on their bodies. Those monitors, he says, can be M2M-enabled, if they’re not already, so they can send patient information to doctors over the wireless network.

"We are currently on the cusp of an era where every device that can benefit from being connected via a cellular connection to the Internet will be connected to the Internet and other devices," says James Brehm, senior strategist and consultant at Compass (News - Alert) Intelligence. "These devices include cars, electrical meters, health and wellness devices, surveillance systems and many other complex systems; and the process isn't always a simple one. To meet the promise that M2M holds, the industry requires an ecosystem that enables non-traditional companies to look for new business models, simplify and accelerate the onboarding process, hide the complexity from the end user and thus provide a simple and seamless customer experience.”

Compass Intelligence forecasts the M2M and connected device market will reach 87 million endpoints by 2015, with a compound annual growth rate of more than 25 percent.

That helps explain why RACO Wireless expects to see record growth in 2012. The company in mid December reported it was on pace to increase its year-over-year growth by 300 percent in 2011.

But RACO isn’t your run-of-the-mill M2M outfit, says Horn, it prides itself on its ability to onboard M2M applications and customers quickly. The company claims it can onboard new solution providers in as little as one day, compared to the industry average of several weeks to several months. Horn explains RACO is able to do that by leveraging its team, tools and relationship with T-Mobile – the three Ts.

“With new M2M solutions entering the marketplace in as little as one day, RACO Wireless is helping companies and devices connect in unexpected ways,” says Stan Simpliciano, senior director of MVNO/M2M at T-Mobile USA.

To help build on its momentum, RACO Wireless continues to add team members and grow its ecosystem of partners.

For example, Eddie Meyersick recently joined the company as its director of global accounts. In this position, he works with global carriers to increase support for the Multi IMSI SIM project, which is designed to simplify global distribution of M2M solutions.

In terms of partnerships, RACO Wireless has alliances with such companies as Aeris (News - Alert), a wireless network service aggregator for the M2M space; Direct Communication Solutions, a distributor of embedded modules for M2M applications ; Everything Everywhere, the T-Mobile UK /Orange (News - Alert) UK joint venture; Geotab, which sells end-to-end telematics solutions; Securus Inc., a GPS product provider; Teletrack, a fleet management solutions provider; and others. In fact, RACO Wireless announced more partners in August alone than it did the entire time the M2M initiative was under the T-Mobile umbrella.

"Today, we are working with more than 100 companies developing M2M products that have the potential to revolutionize the way entire industries manage their infrastructure,” says Horn. “It's an exciting time to be in M2M."

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

comments powered by Disqus

Meet the Editorial Team

Rich Tehrani,
Since 1982 Rich has led TMC© in many capacities. Rich Tehrani is an IP Communications industry expert, visionary, author and columnist. He founded INTERNET TELEPHONY® magazine...Read More >>>
Carl Ford,
Partner and Community Developer, Crossfire Media
Today as a partner at Crossfire Media, Carl is developing programs that bring to light an understanding of the issues required for delivering broadband wireless Internet...Read More >>>
Erik Linask,
Group Editorial Director, TMC
Erik oversees the editorial content and direction for all of TMC. Erik has contributed literally thousands of features during his 5-year tenure, with a focus...Read More >>>
Paula Bernier,
Executive Editor, IP Communications Group
Paula oversees editorial content and operations of INTERNET TELEPHONY and Next Gen Mobility Magazines. Bernier is...Read More >>>
Paula Bernier,
CTO & Executive Technology Editor
om is executive technology editor for TMC® Labs, the industry’s most-well known and respected testing lab, and ...Read More >>>