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M2M Basics

This page covers basics of M2M,reference standards,M2M High Level System Architecture and M2M product suppliers.

The M2M means machine to machine communication. It is also a data communication standard. It involves one or more entities. This technology makes it possible for smart devices to communicate via internet connection using IP protocols.It enables data flow between human being and machines and also between machines and machines.

M2M is also named as Machine Type Communication (MTC) in 3GPP. Following section explains M2M high level system architecture.

M2M Phases

Figure describes 4 phases involved in M2M technology.It covers collection of the data, transmission of the data through the communication medium/network, assessment of the data collected and response to the machine based on the assessment.

Let us take example of smart meter to understand the M2M concept. Smart meter records the electricity rate which will be communicated to the software application over some medium using internet. This application process the data sent by the smart meter and decides whether the consumer device can be switched on at this time or at later stage to conserve the energy. Hence smart electricity meter here acts as interface between both consumer as well as for electric company to save the energy and save the money.

M2M system support a mechanism to manage and interact with multiple M2M Applications. The M2M system Architecture consists of following:
•  M2M Applications
•  M2M Transport network, which covers Access network,core network(CN) and M2M service capabilities
The architecture is devided into M2M Device domain, and a Network and applications domain.

M2M Applications

The cellular based M2M solutions provide easier installation and provisioning targetted mainly for short term deployments. M2M communication could be carried over mobile networks (e.g. GSM-GPRS, CDMA EVDO networks). In the M2M communication, the role of mobile network is largely confined to serve as a transport network.

M2M devices vary from highly-mobile vehicles communicating in real-time, to im-mobile meter-reading appliances that send small amounts of data at random instants.

It covers the communications between the M2M Gateway(s) and M2M application(s), e.g. xDSL, LTE, WiMAX, and WLAN.

Other than cellular M2M is widely adopted in energy,transport,real estate and agriculture sectors. As mentioned previously smart meter utilizes the energy efficiently and hence bring down CO2 emissions. Hence M2M helps in lowering the effect of global warming.

In the transport sector M2M helps by providing information regarding best optimized routes to trucks,ships,trains and planes so that wastage of fuel can be avoided. This also helps reduce CO2 emissions by cutting the distance of the travel.

M2M helps in building and home management by conserving energy for various systems viz. cooling, lighting,heating,ventillation and other electronic appliances. It also provides security for the home or building owner with the M2M compliant security enabled devices.

In agriculture sector M2M provides solutions to monitor cattle health and grazing style, soil monitoring,smart farming and smart watering. This helps grow large amount of crops with lesser resources and hence save money for the farmers.


Standard -ETSI TS 102 689 Machine to Machine Communications (M2M); M2M service requirements Standard -ETSI TS 102 690 Machine to Machine Communications (M2M); M2M functional architecture
Above documents can be downloaded from

RF M2M product companies


M2M Related Links

Difference between M2M and IoT

RF and Wireless Terminologies

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