Vodafone connectivity enables IoT health care, public safety
CSL, an “internet of things” and machine-to-machine solutions company with a footprint in the fire and security industry, selected Vodafone to bolster the connectivity of its more than 2,800 alarm installers.
CSL became a Vodafone partner in 1996, as it looked “scale resilience of the network and reputation,” according to CSL managing director Ed Heale. All of CSL’s M2M/IoT connectivity services are powered by its Gemini platform, with 400,000 devices also using Vodafone’s managed connectivity service. The company said it’s adding 6,000 more devices every month. Ninety percent of the connections are said to be focused on the fire and security market.
The Vodafone platform is claimed to allow CSL to manage all connectivity from a single point, while providing customers with a portal to view status in real time. It’s also designed for cost consistency as the business grows, and the option to expand internationally using the same connectivity, according to a case study by Vodafone.
“We’re at the moment where the ‘internet of things’ is becoming more clearly understood by the wider business community,” Heale said. “Device costs and connectivity costs are coming down and every industry should be thinking closely about how IoT might impact operations. We’re about to see 10 years of unprecedented growth in connected devices.”
Of the 6,000 new connections being added each month, one-third is said to be going into CSL’s second area of focus: health care.
Telecare has a requirement to move to the digital age as 99% of existing telecare solutions rely on a single telephone line as the emergency communication path. If the line is in use during an emergency or fails completely, residents are left vulnerable, and alarms would not be delivered to the monitoring center.
“This is the kind of market we have operated in for years: regulated, standards-driven, where connectivity is critical,” said Heale. “The network is vital. As a business, we’re set up to ensure that a signal will always go through.”
DualCom SafeLink, using the Vodafone Managed IoT Connectivity Platform, is set to deliver wireless failover technology to the telecare market. It was designed to provide a secure wireless backup communication route that can signal an alarm to the monitoring center in the event of the telephone line not being available. This is said to ensure residents always have a working line of communication to send emergency signals.
“Clearly this is classed as ‘critical connectivity,’” said Heale. “Critical can mean different things for different businesses. For some businesses, critical means ensuring an alarm always gets monitored, for others is about the need for real-time information to enable them to be more competitive or efficient, whether that is ensuring vending machines are always well stocked or ATMs never run out of cash.”
Heale said the task for CSL is to build out its skills as it grows and create a compelling business case for IoT for new industries.
“We can build a compelling use case for each market – finance, retail, utilities. Right now we have an educational role to play in the wider IoT market, to help businesses understand the opportunity that exists for them.”