Dialogic Blog

IoT vs. M2M

by Jim Machi

Apr 14, 2015 5:20:24 AM


At Mobile World Congress, the Internet of Things (IoT) and those promoting that sort of thing came out of the woodwork.  In fact, these types of companies are likely causing Mobile World Congress to change from a show dedicated to the mobile telecom industry, to a show dedicated to anything mobile.  Many of these companies had nothing to do with what I’d refer to as the mobile industry, or the traditional mobile industry, other than they send data over some spectrum.  Hence, they participate in a mobile show.

So while IoT came to the fore, what of Machine to Machine (M2M)?  I mean, Dialogic has M2M customers who use some of our modem and/or signaling technologies to connect some sort of machine, such as an ATM machine, or a gas meter, to another sort of machine like a computer database to perform a transaction.  In the case of the ATM machine, it’s validating your PIN Code and whether you have sufficient funds.  In the case of a gas meter it’s putting a transmitter on the gas meter so it can transmit the reading to a database.  They are both about better customer service and saving costs.  In the case of the ATM, the bank doesn’t need as many tellers, and you can access your funds whenever you want wherever you want --for a convenience fee of course!  In the case of the gas company, they don’t need gas men walking around in people’s backyards.  Yes, people are expensive.

To me, IoT is a superset of M2M.  IoT means connecting all things to the Internet probably through some kind of IP-based connection where the data goes up into a cloud platform.  M2M is more point-to-point, like what I described above.  So I think it makes sense that M2M is a subset of IoT.

IoT does bring up some security concerns though.  Yes, I’m famous for asking my wife once we are two miles away from our house if we closed the garage door.  And I’d love to be able to check an app on my phone and say “close garage door”.  I’d use this thing all the time. But I would be worried about security.  Because if I could close it, someone else could open it with some work.  A new kind of burglar.  I don’t know if this is any different than doing online banking, but it does worry me. And I’m sure there would be breakdowns and you wouldn’t know it.  Like the app says the garage door is closed but something went awry.  But what about your health monitoring info going into the cloud.  It’s not exactly so private anymore.  Like I said, maybe nothing is anymore and there really is no difference.  Over time, I’m sure I will get used to it as there are successes.  There is no choice – since IoT will bring more convenience, better service and reduced costs, it’s here to stay.