Getting started with M2M connectivity
When choosing an M2M communications solution you want to be confident that your M2M service provider can deliver rock solid network performance while truly adding value to your unique application and business model.
Aeris has supported hundreds of customers rolling out M2M connectivity across all of the different market segments and we can bring that best in class knowledge to you. Throughout this section, you will find advice and guidance on how to build and launch your solution as well as white papers for you to download.
We look forward to providing support as you develop and launch your solution. Find out more now by contacting an Aeris representative.
For more information on Aeris, download this white paper:
A fundamental decision in integrating a wireless solution is whether to use an embedded module or an external, off-the-shelf modem.
Modems have the advantage of being readily available and require little or no hardware integration. Most are carrier pre-certified which simplifies the device certification requirements before going to market.
Embedded modules offer lower overall cost and a wider selection of features. This option can also provide more value through additional capabilities, customization and lower production costs. Unfortunately, the development time to incorporate a radio module into custom hardware is usually very long and can be expensive.
Other key factors a developer will consider are whether the module or modem supports the communication requirements of your particular application, such as temperature considerations, technology longevity or data bandwith requirements.
Aeris has many partners that provide hardware modems and modules. Contact us for more information and we can help you with your analysis.
One of the first choices that developers will make is the wireless technology that best suits their application and business needs. It is a difficult decision to make, with a developer forced to choose between 2G, 3G, and 4G, as well as GSM or CDMA.
To make this decision, the developer should balance 3 areas. First, the cost of hardware varies between the different technologies, with each generation of technology being more expensive than the last. Second, the characteristics of each technology vary as well, with speeds increasing dramatically as you reach 4G. While many M2M applications function just fine on 2G, some (such as video) require at least 3G if not 4G speeds. Finally, the developer must consider the coverage footprint of the technology, and how long that coverage will be supported in the market.
The trade-offs between these options can be complex. Aeris supports all of the different technologies, and can assist in your decision making process. Reach out for assistance if you would like more information.
In addition, you can download the “LTE Spectrum Fragmentation” whitepaper from our CTO Syed Hosain.
Choosing a carrier
Selecting the right M2M services partner is much more than just choosing a carrier. It is an important decision that can impact the successful outcome and performance of your product or business application. There are a number of important things to consider when determining the right carrier for your business including:
- Is their network designed specifically for M2M or is it a side offering to their consumer business?
- Can they create a customized cost structure to enable my business model?
- Do they have quality industry expertise to help me optimize my solution to maximize performance and minimize costs?
- Can I integrate their solution into my manufacturing and operational processes?
- Does their coverage capability match my needs?
- Do they offer the technologies I need?
Most M2M network carriers provide a ‘commodity connection’ which utilizes existing networks designed for consumer business applications. Aeris Communications stands apart as the only M2M cellular carrier that owns and operates their core network designed and built exclusively for machine-to-machine communication. This means the freedom to pursue new and emerging commercial opportunities without being hindered by network limitations or rigid rate plans.
The difference can be profound making this a critical choice when looking for market-leading performance and mission critical reliability for your M2M solution and business success. Please contact us for more information and experience the Aeris difference yourself.
Building an application to operate in the wireless world is much different than building one for the wired world. Not only are there unique ways to initiate and maintain IP connectivity in the cellular world, the reliability of an IP connection is different. The radio environment for a wireless device will fluctuate throughout the day, putting pressure on the application and device to maintain a reliable IP session. As a developer, you must take that into account as you build your application.
Aeris can provide you with suggestions on how to develop your application based on our years of experience in rolling out best in class M2M applications. Download the white paper, “Wireless IP Best Practices” for more information.
Finally, Aeris provides developers with more than 100 APIs, providing deep integration capability into the carrier systems to support activities including:
- Provisioning and activation integration
- Cost and traffic reporting
- Device control access and many more
All devices must be certified for use on the cellular network. This certification ensures that the device and application will not harm the carrier’s network and function at a basic level.
This can be a long and painful process with many carriers, as they are generally set up to support consumer handsets, not M2M devices.
At Aeris, we do nothing but machine applications and our device certification process is designed for machines. We commit to a 10 day turnaround on device certifications. In addition to basic tests of functionality and safety, we also provide suggestions on improvements that will reduce your data usage costs and enhance the performance of your solution.
Before moving into full production of a commercial device, manufacturers need to determine supply chain sources for all components and implement a provisioning and activation process that meets manufacturing and delivery projections. No customer has the same supply chain requirements.
It is important that you evaluate and have access to the best APIs from your carrier in order to integrate service provisioning directly into your manufacturing and fulfillment process. This will help you to more fully optimize operations and reduce cost.
Aeris provides a wide range of options for supply chain optimization. In addition, several hardware vendors offer “Aeris Ready” devices which are pre-activated and certified, eliminating the device certification process. You simply insert the device into your solution and turn it on.
Before you launch your solution, you’ll want to consider the support option that matches your operational needs. These typically provide services such as:
- Provisioning and activation
- Device management
- Traffic and cost reporting
- Support case management
Many carriers provide a service portal as a point-of-contact, however the quality, functionality and information transparency vary greatly across the industry. Machines require information to make decisions, delivered in a consistent and reliable way. Only Aeris gives its customers complete visibility into the cellular network, real-time traffic reporting, and remote device control all through AerPort, a unique and highly information-rich online portal that enables optimal machine performance and business efficiency.
In addition, Aeris provides different levels of Service Desk support based on a customer’s requirements. Basic Service is provided to all customers at no cost. Other service options are available including expanded hours of support, active monitoring of network and server elements, personal assistance with application development, and much more.