Cellular network no longer just for phones [Telecom]

In today's San Francisco Chronicle by a staff writer:

" There was a time when the primary devices on cellular networks " were cellular phones. " " But those days are giving way to a new reality where cellular " chips are being embedded in a variety of unlikely devices and " machines, everything from dog collars and prescription pill cap " systems to photo frames and smart meters. " " Consumers have gotten a glimpse of the technology through cars " like GM's OnStar-equipped vehicles and devices like the Kindle " that are outfitted with cellular. " " Now with cellular component prices falling and the U.S. mobile " phone market nearly saturated - there were 286 million subscriber " accounts at the end of 2009 - wireless operators and device " manufacturers are moving toward the next big opportunity in " cellular: connecting many of the other devices around us. " " Embedding devices with cellular endows them with intelligence " beyond unconnected machines and provides greater reach and ease " of use than many Wi-Fi devices. Ericsson recently forecast 50 " billion wirelessly connected devices by the year 2020. " " "What you have is this incredibly fantastic time for devices to " be connected to cellular networks," said Craig Harper, president " and founder of Berkeley-based Apisphere. " " Apisphere recently announced plans to sell a dog collar outfitted " with GPS and cellular service. Owners who outfit their pets with " the collar can get e-mail or text alerts when their animals stray " from a certain area and can track their pets on a map. The " service will also be able to send out status updates to social " networks based on an animal's location. " " One of the most aggressive carriers in this new market has been " AT&T, which formed an emerging devices group two years ago. Glenn " Lurie, the president of AT&T's emerging devices organization, " said the carrier now sees a bright future in embedded devices and " is working hard to strike deals with device manufacturers. " " There were 19 devices on AT&T's network last year, and the " company has announced five others this year with many more in the " works. Lurie said the chips could work their way into everything " from shipping containers and clothing to car diagnostic systems " and consumer electronics.

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Reply to
Thad Floryan
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Does anyone know what cellular networks are charging for data services when a company has a large number of devices but each uses little traffic? I see the existing cellular network as a great way to send low volume data from millions of devices. My wife's Kindle is a great example. The price of transmission is built in to the books she buys. There is no monthly charge for cellular access. Other possible applications include utility time of use metering and load management, GPS tracking of trucks and buses, etc. I think a great application would be a voice interface to GPS tracking of buses. Someone waiting for a bus uses their cellphone to call the number on the bus stop sign. They key in the stop number from the sign. By voice, the computer at the other end tells them how many minutes until each bus arrives and where it's going.

Anyway, what do cellular carriers charge for this type of service? Is there a web page somewhere with rates?



Reply to

I seriously doubt there are published rates for this service - you'd have to negotiate with cariers on a case by case basis. It is quite common now though.

Honeywell's Alarmnet is based on a national data connection for their wireless alarm panels - think a half dozen SMS sized messages a day for the average user. Or a worse case: Many vending machines have low stock or sales status messages these days. Might see 1 message a day or less.

Reply to
Robert Neville

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