Jasper Wireless, provider of connected devices platforms for machine-to-machine (M2M) and consumer electronics, today announced an agreement with NTT DOCOMO to wirelessly connect machine-to-machine (M2M) and consumer electronics devices across Japan.
The Jasper Wireless platform will provide DOCOMO with the applications and services necessary to accelerate market entry of new categories of connected devices on its network, and profitably connect and manage a range of embedded wireless devices. Jasper Wireless' ability extends to a variety of M2M connections including but not limited to telematics, consumer electronics and m-health.
Japan's NTT DoCoMo is a long standing participant in the machine-to-machine industry and Japan is a particularly competitive landscape for M2M. At the end of 2011, DoCoMo held a market-leading 38% share of the country's M2M connections and had experienced a 20% increase in the number of M2M connections it served during the preceding 12 months, according to Informa Telecoms & Media.
However, Jamie Moss, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, commented on the announcement: 'Rivals KDDI and Softbank have always been following closely behind with Softbank in particular displaying impressive levels of growth in its M2M business.'
Despite being the last of the three to become active in M2M by a considerable number of years, Softbank became the second largest Japanese carrier in terms of M2M connections served at the end of 2011, said Moss. Its installed base had increased by 73% during 2011 to give Softbank a market share of 31%, despite the fact that carrier had only accounted for a mere one percent of all M2M connections just three years earlier. NTT DoCoMo's historic leadership of M2M in Japan could certainly have been considered to be coming under threat.
Moss continued: 'It is in the shadow of these developments that NTT DoCoMo is now revealed to have been negotiating with Jasper Wireless for the provision of the vendor's connected devices platform – just days after it was confirmed that Portuguese carrier Optimus had become their customer too. NTT DoCoMo is a carrier that has been famous for many years for preferring to develop its own proprietary solutions and standards for wireless communications. So the inking of this contract with third party software developer Jasper Wireless can be seen as important validation of several things.
'Firstly, it is confirmation of the perceived utility of the Jasper Wireless system in the eyes of a seasoned M2M competitor. Second, it emphasises the need for even established wireless carriers to seek to roll out a more value-added M2M offering in order to stay competitive. And lastly, it is proof of the need for companies within the M2M eco-system to focus on their core competencies, while at the same time leveraging the core competencies of strategic partners, rather than trying to accomplish everything by themselves,' noted Moss.
'The Japanese market has always been at the forefront of innovation in connected consumer electronics and advancements in the automotive industry, and DOCOMO has always been at the vanguard of commercialising new opportunities in mobile communications,' said Cindy Patterson, executive vice president, worldwide sales, Jasper Wireless.
'In working with DOCOMO, Jasper Wireless is partnering with not only the market leader in Japan, but also with an organization with a track record in opening up new markets. We're delighted that DOCOMO has selected Jasper's connected devices platform to deploy and manage their connected devices profitably and at scale,' she added.
As consumer electronics and M2M devices come to market with embedded connectivity, market success depends on finding the right business models to service different verticals and consumers globally. Jasper Wireless has developed the applications and services that support highly flexible business models as well as the automation of operational processes, including custom device provisioning, instant activation, real-time diagnostic tools and detailed billing and usage reports, ensuring a superior out-of-box end-user experience.
NTT DOCOMO joins a growing list of other Jasper Wireless operator partners including AT&T, América Móvil, Telefonica, VimpelCom, KPN, SingTel, Telstra, Rogers, CSL and more.