Tag Archives: Vodafone M2M

Environment Agency uses M2M Technology To Improve Planning And Efficiency


The Environment Agency deploys camera monitoring to remote locations, helping better direct the response of field engineers.

In December 2015 the UK experienced its wettest month in a century, which continued into the New Year. About 16,000 houses in England were flooded and it is estimated repairs will cost £3m and could take a year to complete.

Across the European Union the cost of flood damage is expected to rise from €4.5bn to €23bn per year by 2050. Climate change and changing weather patterns are expected to create a rainier Europe, with heavier, more damaging downpours.

In the UK, the Environment Agency (EA) is at the forefront of our flood defences. It assesses flood risk and maintains the country’s flood defences. The EA must be at a constant state of readiness. “Flash flooding has changed the way we operate,” says Mick Robinson, Technical Advisor FCRM (Flood and Coastal Risk Management) at EA. “Intense downpours can happen anywhere at any time, so we need to be able to respond quickly and effectively.” The EA manages more than 30,000 bridges, culverts and grids, all of which play a role in managing flooding. Culverts allow water to drain off harmlessly, steering flood water into rivers and drainage systems.

These culverts cannot fail. Traditionally, this infrastructure was maintained via a scheduled series of service visits: engineers would regularly check culverts for blockages. A blocked culvert could cause flood water to back up, flooding residential areas. EA wanted to improve the efficiency of these service visits, enabling engineers to be ready to move at a moment’s notice. It wanted to prioritise visits and to build early-warning systems.

Many of these culverts are in remote, hard to reach locations. They require a great deal of time and money to visit. “If our defences are being overloaded we want to be better able to direct ground responses,” says Robinson. The solution Remote monitoring to help direct field engineers The obvious solution is remote visual monitoring – cameras sending regular images of infrastructure, the bridges, culverts and drains, to support regular visits by engineers. The images can be viewed centrally, or by engineers on the move via a mobile device. They provide an early warning system and better direct service visits.

With previous solutions, the difficulty had been in powering, maintaining and ensuring the necessary connectivity to each camera. In the East Midlands region, EA is using a new solution that combats each of these issues. It is working with iDefigo Group, a remote monitoring specialist, and Vodafone’s Global M2M platform. A network of smart cameras, each connected to a central platform and powered by small, solar panels, provide regular, accurate updates. “Many of these cameras are in river valleys, where connectivity is not great. We’ve beaten this with the Vodafone Global SIM,” says Robinson.

Source: Vodafone


Vodafone Connect Seals to Global M2M Network



Seals and other marine mammals around the UK coast and in other parts of the world are to be equipped with the latest marine smart tags using machine-to-machine (M2M) technology in a world first.

The new project is the result of a partnership between the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) Instrumentation Group at the University of St Andrews and Vodafone UK to aid research into the rapid decline of some species of marine mammals. In the UK, some populations of Harbour seal – one of two resident UK species – have declined sharply, by up to 90% in some areas over the last 10 years.

The partnership will allow SMRU, a global leader in marine science, to equip and link smart tags worn harmlessly by seals, as well as turtles, with Vodafone’s M2M technology and global network to significantly improve the reach and quality of transmission in data collected from them when they surface to breathe.  The data collected is vital to SMRU and associated research organisations worldwide. It will assist them in providing impartial advice to government bodies, industry and offshore energy companies on the best practices in safeguarding seal populations and wider marine conservation.

M2M technology is being used to connect a wide range of systems to the ‘internet of things’; from cars and bicycles to heart monitors and homes – however, this is the first time it has been used to connect marine mammals.

Vodafone’s global M2M network provides a single and dedicated communications network from coastlines around the world to allow data about a seal’s location, dive behaviour and its oceanic environment, to be sent directly from the tags to SMRU for analysis.

SMRU developed the world’s first data capture and relay tags in 1982 and has progressively improved their design and functionality for in its own use in the UK and by similar research establishments elsewhere in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. A marine smart tag, connected to Vodafone’s global M2M platform and third-party satellite services, is lightweight, no larger than a mobile phone and can withstand depths of up to 200 metres. Fixed to the fur of seals with harmless adhesive, the tags drop off during the animals’ annual moult.

SMRU, which is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), aims to produce up to 100 Vodafone M2M marine smart tags per year for use both in the UK and with other institutions all around the world. The SMRU Instrumentation Group is recognised as a world leader in the design of innovative telemetry systems for marine mammals.

Vodafone’s M2M technology provides SMRU with a number of benefits, including:

  • A unique core network built specifically for M2M services;
  • A ubiquitous experience utilising both Vodafone owned and partner networks, offering access to hundreds of mobile networks worldwide, giving scientists more opportunities to collect data from ‘tagged’ marine mammals from more places, including remote areas and across different maritime borders;
  • Avoids any unforeseen data roaming charges if the seal travels to a different country as it works across a single system:
  • Enables SMRU to standardise the smart tags to work on one system rather than worry about working across multiple mobile phone technologies, and;
  • Marine scientists can control directly the active state of every M2M SIM in each tag anywhere in the world from a single PC.

SMRU’s Deputy Director Dr Bernie McConnell said: “Through the combination of technology and science, SMRU and Vodafone can help businesses and governments accelerate economic growth and responsible environmental management. Marine data collected is fundamental in balancing the health of the sea with society’s need to harvest food and energy from it. ”

Vodafone UK’s head of corporate responsibility Emer Boulter added: “Vodafone is providing its M2M technology and consultancy to help Bernie and the SMRU team to improve their data gathering and so help shape better informed policy decisions and better stewardship of the seas. We are delighted to partner with SMRU and hope that our technology and resources can go some way in continually improving environmental assessments in order to protect local sea mammal populations.”

SMRU and Vodafone began installing the M2M service this month for use on seals around the Northern Isles and western Scotland in Spring next year, for a project backed by the Scottish Government and Scottish Natural Heritage. They also plan to work together at Vodafone’s laboratories in the UK to investigate ways to improve the speed and efficiency of relaying data ashore.  After a dive, seals come to the sea surface to breathe only for short periods.  So SMRU and Vodafone will continue to investigate ways to use these brief ‘data communication’ periods without expending too much battery energy.

Source: Vodafone

Local councils missing out on more than £400 Million possible savings from M2M technologies


Local councils are missing potential savings of over £400 million and the opportunity to improve the services they offer to citizens by not capitalising on the benefits offered by Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technologies, Vodafone UK has found.


  • Smart street lighting and smart in-building energy management systems in local government buildings could provide savings of £402.3 million
  • New research by ComRes for Vodafone UK shows that 67 per cent of urban councillors are not aware of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technologies and how they can be used to deliver better, more cost efficient public services
  • 77 per cent of people living in urban areas say they would support their council’s decision to invest more in new technology to drive improved public services

To understand why local government is yet to reap the benefits of M2M for the efficient delivery of public services, Vodafone research, unveiled today, found that although the vast majority of urban councillors are positive about investment in technology, two thirds (67 per cent) are not familiar with M2M. This gap in understanding would explain why M2M is yet to be widely used to improve public services such as street lighting, refuse collection, urban traffic and transport management, whilst at the same time saving the tax payer millions.

Vodafone UK worked with research partner ComRes to poll 629 GB urban councillors and over 1,600 residents living in or on the fringes of the country’s urban areas to understand their views on the use of technology for public service delivery and to gauge which services are of concern to residents. The poll found that councillors agree that investing in technology is important in delivering better public services. This approach is also supported by the majority of urban residents.

The provisional local government finance settlement means that councils in England face cuts of almost £8 billion this year (1.8 per cent of 14/15 budget)1. By utilising M2M – also called the Internet of Things (IoT) – local councils could benefit from significant savings while improving key services. Smart street lighting and energy management systems in local government buildings, for example, could save over £400 million (£402.3 million), making up around 5 per cent of the cuts expected over the next year with just two M2M-based solutions.

Today’s research suggests those savings would be welcomed by citizens who overwhelmingly said (77 per cent) they would fully support their council’s decision to invest more in new technology to drive improved public services.

Matt Key, Director of M2M sales and commercial at Vodafone said, “While the importance of technology seems to be widely appreciated by local councillors and residents in urban areas, the lack of awareness of the massive benefits to be gained from M2M and the Internet of Things means that urban councils are missing out on opportunities to deliver better, smarter and more cost effective services in the areas which matter to their local communities.”

“Among the small amount of councillors who are familiar with M2M, almost all of them (83 per cent) feel the technology will be important in delivering better services and improved value to the community. If we can help more councillors understand the possible savings and the benefits, then we have a real opportunity to help local councils improve the services for their communities, as well as free up more budget to be reinvested in front line services.”

Citizens are in support of smart technologies

The poll of Britons living in or on the fringes of urban areas found them to be in strong support of using M2M technologies to improve public services and reduce running costs. The greatest savings could come from monitoring systems in local authority buildings to reduce energy consumption, a measure supported by 85 per cent of residents. When Vodafone implemented smart monitoring systems across 200 of its sites, the company made an average saving of 29 per cent in energy costs, per site. With UK local authorities spending around £750 million each year on energy costs2, they could save close to £190 million per year with an average saving of 25 per cent through the introduction of similar systems.

Further savings could be achieved by smart street lighting – 80 per cent of residents in urban areas said they are in favour of lighting which brightens when it senses people or vehicles are nearby to reduce energy consumption. If connected or smart street lights were rolled out to all 7.5 million street lights in the UK this could drive savings of £52.9 million on energy costs (based on a conservative 20 per cent reduction) and £161.9 million in maintenance, equating to total savings of almost £215million (£214.8 million).

M2M technology can improve the services that citizens are most dissatisfied with

According to the survey, residents of urban areas are less likely to be satisfied on issues concerning transportation and traffic, compared to other council services, such as refuse collection and street lighting.

Traffic management, for example, can readily benefit from M2M technologies. As the survey suggests, congestion in urban areas such as London, is a major frustration for its residents, as well as costing councils money. According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, the number of hours spent by drivers idling in traffic in London is expected to increase by nearly 20 per cent over the next fifteen years to 299 hours – equating to 40 working days a year by 20303.

In fact 88 per cent of adults living in urban areas said they support the introduction of smart traffic light systems which automatically respond to the flow of people and vehicles for more effective traffic management. Support for improvements to traffic light systems was higher than any other proposal tested in the polling.

Furthermore, fifty-seven per cent of residents said they would be in support of their local council investing in applications to help them find parking spaces. One City Council is already embarking on a project with Vodafone to help direct drivers to the council’s 10,000 parking bays4 – some of which remain vacant because people can’t find them. Drivers spend around 15 minutes looking for an available space, so the project will greatly reduce congestion.

“The benefits that are already being seen by the private sector, other markets and some local authorities are just too significant for urban councillors to ignore,” said Matt Key. “Those at the highest level in Government are starting to recognise the potential with IoT making its way into the Spring budget for the first time earlier this year. We recommend that urban councillors find out more about M2M technologies to see how they can improve the services that matter most to their residents while making budgets work harder. At Vodafone, we are committed to working with local councils to make best use of technology to create some of the smartest, most efficient cities in Europe.”

Source: Vodafone


Ubitricity opens up new avenues in electric mobility using Vodafone M2M



Ubiquitous electricity. That’s the idea behind this Berlin-based energy company — to make electric mobility more efficient and affordable for electric car owners.

Business Need

Electricity is available almost everywhere but it is not given away for free in most places. What is missing is an economical solution for accessing the power supply and billing for the energy consumed.


Ubitricity operates a virtual grid, and has developed a billing platform and smart network as part of the package it provides. Vodafone has worked with ubitricity to develop this innovative solution, using its Global M2M Platform. A Vodafone M2M SIM card is permanently installed in the intelligent charging cables. It communicates with the ubitricity back- end via the Vodafone Global M2M Platform and controls the activation and billing of the respective charging process.

For the implementation of the innovative ubitricity concept, Vodafone individually adapted the M2M platform to the requirements of intelligent charging management to the ubitricity billing system. The international availability of the Vodafone Global M2M Platform allows ubitricity to offer and operate its solution not only in Germany but also abroad – which in turn is an important prerequisite for the acceptance of such a mobility concept.

Business Benefits

  • The intelligent ubitricity solution offers charging-point provider’s savings of up to 90 percent both in terms of acquisition and ongoing operating cost.
  • Powerful, reliable and flexible M2M platform
  • Individual adaptation of the platform to the requirements of the intelligent charging solution for electric cars has been realised.
  • International availability and Worldwide network coverage
 The flexible and powerful M2M platform of Vodafone is a central component of our solution and our business model in Germany. Knut Hechtfischer, CEO and co-founder, ubitricity

Vodafone M2M services help CleverMiles launch innovative new telematics solution that promotes safe driving for 17-40 year olds


Vodafone M2M services help CleverMiles launch innovative new telematics solution that promotes safe driving for 17-40 year olds

Business need

CleverMiles, one of the brightest start-up companies in Ireland, has big ambitions for a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) based system that it has launched to promote safe driving. To achieve its long term goals, it needs the support of a reliable network partner that has the capacity to work on a global scale.


Vodafone M2M SIMs are installed in special devices that plug into cars and monitor a driver’s performance including speed, acceleration and braking. That data is relayed back to CleverMiles via the Global M2M Platform.

Business benefits

  • Benefits to users include cheaper car insurance and incentives provided by CleverMiles’ commercial partners
  • M2M connectivity enables detailed analysis of positive driver behaviour
  • Data is compiled so drivers can score points, win prizes and compete against each other through social media networks
  • Comprehensive network coverage ensures a reliable and robust data connection to customers’ cars
  • Vodafone’s Global M2M SIM – pre-provisioned and ready to use in any country – enables easy international roll out
  • Global M2M management platform allows CleverMiles to activate, suspend or deactivate SIMs at the click of a button
  • Flexible pricing structure helps CleverMiles to conduct pre-launch trials and plan global expansion with confidence
” Knowing that we have the support of Vodafone M2M specialists in every country that we want to expand to – plus highly reliable and robust data connections – gives us terrific peace of mind as we grow and move forward. “

John Quigley, CEO, CleverMiles

Source: Vodafone

European Business Solutions and Vodafone M2M drive automotive safety and efficiency

European Business Solutions and Vodafone M2M create real-time data monitoring to drive automotive safety and efficiency.

Business Need:

European Business Solutions BV (EBS), a Netherlands’ tech firm have developed a unique device in the automotive market, which transports real in-car data information. With this information EBS provides its customers with real-time dynamic in-car data for solutions such as driver behaviour, fleet owner and lease market solutions. EBS needed a mobile solution to connect its in-car data devices – being quick to install and with consistent pricing. With global expansion planned, it needed a partner capable of serving markets worldwide and advising on business strategy.


The Vodafone Global M2M Platform provides EBS with an international solution. It ensures price consistency, global coverage and the means to roll-out quickly. From a trial of 300 in late 2013, EBS hopes to reach 50,000 SIMs. Vodafone also plan to sell the EBS solution through its own sales channels.

Business benefits:

    • Global reach: Reliable connectivity worldwide, with expertise in unique characteristics of local markets
    • Strategic vision: Vodafone provides active assistance with sales introductions, joint go-to-market approaches, third party suppliers and access to M2M trend reports
    • Consistent, predictable and manageable cost structure reduces the risk involved in operating internationally
    • Improve driver performance, lower running costs and reduce CO2 emissions
    • Commercial partnership: EBS hardware will be sold through Vodafone sales channels, extending global reach and facilitating rapid roll-out

Source: Vodafone


Track4Services launches innovative Taxi Wi-Fi service with Vodafone M2M

Track4Services needed to find a reliable way to connect London taxis to its new sponsored Wi-Fi service. It also needed to make sure the service would be commercially viable.

Business Need:

Track4Services is a mobile communications specialist at the forefront of the revolution in Smart Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC). After developing an idea for a sponsored Wi-Fi service in taxis, it needed to find a reliable and commercially effective way to deliver data connectivity to vehicles within London, the city chosen for the launch.


Track4Services has worked with Vodafone to launch a taxi Wi-Fi service that connects to the internet via Vodafone’s reliable and fast 3G network, enabling it to sell a robust proposition to potential advertisers. Track4Services is also introducing a 4G service that will help it to further expand its business.

Business benefits:

    • Fast and reliable 3G connectivity attracts sponsors including Microsoft and major film distributors
    • Content is held locally in the vehicle which gives a fast and reliable content delivery
    • Live streaming of stats allows sponsors to see who is using the service and on which devices
    • Service launched with appropriate content control and sound commercial model following detailed trial by Vodafone engineers
    • Successful ongoing 4G trial enables Track4Services to plan new services for different environments, including a sponsored Wi-Fi service for rail providers
We’ve gone for the best in everything. As well as the world’s leading mobile data network, our solution is built on our own high-spec router manufactured in Switzerland, our own bespoke software, the highest quality antennas – and we’ve tested everything in a facility usually reserved for military systems.

Derek Greene, CEO, Track4Services

Source: Vodafone M2M