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Machine to Machine and IPv6 - Marriage Made in Heaven

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M2M stands for Machine-to-Machine and it refers to communication between “things” as well as services that utilize communication.“Things” here indicates every possible electronic machine and equipment in this world, including cameras, various sensors, cars, appliances, air conditionings, lightings, elevators, gas meters, vending machines, RFID devices. The core protocol that will support open M2M is IPv6 (IP version 6). The biggest trait of IPv6 is the astronomical amount of addresses (numbers assigned to communication devices) it has. It is quite plausible to convert the numerical advantage to a differentiated service if newer address allocation methods are developed. It has been 10 years since the IPv6 core specifications were decided. IPv6-enabled devices and technologies are finally available and have been gradually put in practical use in various application fields.

Let’s take the example of mobile healthcare. Research analysts predict explosive growth in this market in the next 5-10 years. These predictions are further enhanced with continued development of new cloud based storage solutions as physicians, doctors adopt tablets and smartphones in their daily consultations. The real challenge is translating this IPv6/M2M solutions into monetization architectures for service providers.To visualize the difference in NPV, we have comparative charts based on different service adoption rates. The assumption made here is that service adoption rates are directly proportional to the increased proliferation of IPv6 healthcare devices. Figure 1 depicts three variants of IPv6 mobile healthservice sensor adoption rates based on research analyst predictions.Sensors.JPG                                                                        Figure 1: IPv6 mobile healthcare devices

Figure 2 captures NPV comparison between different levels of mobile healthcare service adoption.

NPV.JPG                                                                                     Figure 2: NPV Comparison

*The initial dip in NPV is registered to compensate for the CAPEX investment to achieve the monetization architecture.

It cannot be assumed that all machines will have IP connectivity and indeed current deployments show that several non-IP based technologies are out there.  Although IPv6 eases network connectivity, there are stillmany issues left for connections at the application level, e.g. appliances,cars. There are also cost issues for IP devices in the M2M machines, theirverification, ensuring security, etc.

These are exciting times for both technologies and for more information on monetizing next generation networks, have a peek at the whitepaper http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns849/ns1098/white_paper_c11-663879.html

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