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Deutsche Telekom targets cargo monitoring for its M2M push

Deutsche Telekom says the partnership is an important building block for expanding its M2M solutions business. It is providing both the hardware and the SIM cards while arviem (which instead of dotting capital letters through its name, as is the IT fashion, has decided to do without them completely) is responsible for the software that evaluates the collected data. DT says its next step in this endeavour will see it offering a complete, single-source service, including the software.

DT points out that efficient cargo monitoring is a pressing need now. There are more than 16 million containers on the move at any time around world - a huge logistical nightmare. Incredibly, around 30 per cent of these consignments is either damaged in transit or arrives late. If tracking technology makes even a small dent (as it were) on this number, it could save tens of millions of euros each year.

DT is placing much stress on its customer pricing structure for the service. Instead of the usual front-loaded cost (licenses, specialist equipment etc) customers will be able to OPEX all the cost by booking the solution for a fixed price per consignment. DT says this business model also makes companies more flexible because they can fit out individual containers or even individual consignments on demand.

And DT claims the solution itself is as flexible as the pricing model.

"As the tracking device is not built into the container, the customer can attach it to the outside of the box himself at any time. The device incorporates several sensors that record ambient conditions such as temperature, humidity or vibrations. Furthermore, the system localizes the container’s position to within 30 meters by GPS.

"Each customer specifies in advance which events he wants to be informed of – such as whether his container has been opened in shipping or is taking a route that differs from the one that was scheduled. The M2M solution relays the data required via the mobile network. Software then processes the information and sends it to the customer by e-mail or on a Web-based dashboard," says the press release.

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