“It’s the next wave of opportunity that’s emerging from these networks,” said Godfrey Chua, head of M2M research at Infonetics. “When you think about the universe of possible devices out there, it really is pretty limitless.”
Sierra’s agreement in January to sell its AirCard mobile-modem business for $138 million proved the catalyst for its share advance, as the company reinvented itself into a pure M2M company.
“Sierra Wireless, by dumping or selling the AirCard business, is one of the leaders in the M2M space, a space that is growing,” said Christian Cyr, a portfolio manager at Fiera Capital Corp. who helps manage C$1.2 billion, including Sierra shares.
Sierra agreed this month to buy the module business of South Korea’s AnyData Corp. for $5.9 million. It acquired the M2M business of France’s Sagemcom SAS for 44.9 million euros ($61.9 million) in August 2012.
The company plans to expand its main module business without major acquisitions, focusing instead on buying software companies and those that specialize in connecting industrial machines, Cohenour said.
“These are big, high-value machines, and if they break there’s a big cost to go out and fix them,” Cohenour said. “In an industrial setting, players or companies who connect to their large, expensive machines are able to provide preventive maintenance to their customers. They’re able to lower service costs, they’re able to often generate new streams of revenue -- perhaps through premium service plans.”
Atlas Copco AB (ATCOA) of Stockholm, a Sierra client that makes industrial air compressors the size of school buses, can monitor and potentially remotely fix problems before they cause a breakdown that might take down a factory, Cohenour said.
Expansion into machine-to-machine software could be particularly profitable, with as much as 70 percent of the industry’s total current value of $100 billion derived from added services, according to ABI.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Sierra Wireless (SWIR:$18.04,00$0.09,000.50%) today announced the launch of the latest additions to the AirPrime® HL Series of embedded wireless modules for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. The new AirPrime HL modules include satellite navigation support and are the smallest embedded wireless modules (22 x 23 mm) to be completely interchangeable across 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies. They provide device manufacturers with the ability to serve different regions, across multiple network technologies, with one device design.
The AirPrime HL Series is designed to be flexible, providing manufacturers with the choice of soldering down the module for efficient high-volume production, or using an innovative snap-in socket. With the snap-in socket, device manufacturers can quickly place the module in the device any time in the production cycle and swap 2G modules for 3G or 4G modules in the future, even in completed and field-deployed devices. With both the snap-in and solder-down options, manufacturers can leverage one design for their 2G, 3G, and 4G deployments, simply by changing the module installed in production – no other changes to the device design would be required.
In addition to the flexible hardware design, the AirPrime HL Series is designed to be future-proof. With AirVantage Management Service, an off-the-shelf cloud-based M2M platform from Sierra Wireless (SWIR:$18.04,00$0.09,000.50%) , customers can easily upgrade device firmware over-the-air for thousands or even millions of deployed devices at a time, ensuring they can stay in service for many years while lowering maintenance time and operating costs