Some optimism came this afternoon from Jacques Demael, Executive VP in the Enterprise Line of Business at Orange Business Services, who identified mobile data and machine-to-machine as big growth areas for the ICT market.
For mobile data, Demael highlighted two immediate concerns: cost and security. Addressing the former issue, Orange's products targeting roaming users were trumpeted, including tariff packages intended to reduce costs for roaming workers. The latter was deemed critical when considering that 5%-8% of devices are "lost" each year.
Demael also showcased a mobile internet dongle with "virtual desktop", which will allow users to "piggy back" on PCs beyond the enterprise. The solution removes concern over data security when using other PCs, as no information is left on the host computer, and it also helps users "travel light", only needing to carry the dongle in order to access corporate data, with the settings stored on the device and installation "immediate and safe".
Moving on to machine-to-machine, Demael highlighted the set-up of Orange's dedicated M2M centre in Brussels, where the company works with its customers to create end-to-end solutions addressing various markets.
Underpinning the growth of M2M is the fact that it is applicable to multiple markets. In the automotive sector, it can be used to enable in-car diagnostics or to alert the emergency services after a crash; it can also be used in home metering applications, enabling utility companies to remotely monitor usage; and can also be used for personal health applications.
In addition, a number of technology considerations are aligning to drive take-up of M2M. Improved hardware and falling prices make deploying M2M a more appealing proposition, while regulatory changes are also making certain M2M applications vital.