The growing recognition of the global significance of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications was demonstrated in the first meeting outside Europe of the M2M technical committee of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). The meeting of the committee, which defines the operation of future M2M communications and the efficient integration onto wireless networks, was held in Philadelphia, PA, and was hosted by InterDigital Inc.

Over 40 telecommunications experts from leading companies and organizations around the world participated in shaping wireless technologies that connect people and devices – ranging from remote monitoring and control to e-health, smart transportation and intelligent homes – changing the way people live, work and play.

As an adjunct to the meeting, the host held a successful demonstration of a working prototype of an end-to-end architecture that interconnects cellular and non-cellular (e.g. WPAN, WLAN) networks seamlessly, using the cellular network to remotely manage and control both cellular and non-cellular M2M devices.

This architecture is being standardized within ETSI in order to enable a broad range of M2M applications in vertical markets such as smart energy, healthcare, transportation and security. The standardization of service platforms and application programming interfaces (APIs) creates a much needed and attractive way for cellular operators to capitalize on the boom in wireless M2M deployments.

France Telecom's Marylin Arndt, Chairman of the ETSI M2M committee, praised the commitment and hard work of the committee's delegates who come from Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) companies around the world. She announced that the first step of the standardization process, defining requirements for the system, had been successfully completed and that work continues to develop the detailed standards. A first release of these is foreseen for the first semester of 2011, enabling the global industry to deliver M2M services.