M2M is dead: long live IoT?

M2M is dead? I was using wireless in my projects 16 years ago.

We tracked cars by GSM and GPS. We connected vending machines of Coca Cola in Berlin by GSM modem to a server. We had to use the CSD call because GPRS was not born. With a speed of 9600 bit per second we forwarded the status of the machine to the service center.

The word Machine to Machine was not intended. Now we are 16 years later and the IoT is born. The Internet of Things will replace M2M? The writer of the article is not aware that we already talk about the Internet of Everything. If the IoT is big then the IoE is even bigger because the IoT includes the things only.

BTW 26 years ago we transmitted binary data with 2400 bit per second on private mobile radios. Was this PMR device a M2M, IoT or IoE device?

400 toilets in the Netherlands got remote access in October 2012 The door will be opened by calling a number written at the door. The server will trigger an USSD and the USSD will travel 1 second only. Within 2 seconds the door is open and your account will be charged by 60 Cent. Within 2 seconds you cannot take your wallet out of your pocket and put the right coins in the slot.

USSD is a lower not common layer in GSM. USSD is ultra fast. It is older and faster than SMS. We used a very old bearer in GSM in a time where people promise the dead of M2M because the IoT jumped in.

Is the vending application at the toilet a part of M2M, IoT, IoE or none of it because it using a non IP based old not common layer called USSD?

Please help with an answer by comments or email to Harald.Naumann ( at) gsm – modem.de. Thx in advance.
Article: M2M is dead: long live IoT here:


Updated: 2013-06-12 — 8:49 AM


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  1. This is really semantics. Would this not be similar to someone claiming that web-services are dead and the new thing is Internet applications.

    I like your note about the use of USSD for opening toilets in a hurry… But I’m curious about the architecture of such a system. How does the system handle customer calls when they are using phones from different providers or phones from different countries. Does the company operating the toilet system need agreement with all operators for this to work. I know that you cannot determine the mobile provider simply from a phone number. Does this then require customer pre-registration for this to work.

  2. Colin if you call me, then in your call then this call is already a USSD. The USSD contains your phone number. If I have your phone number, then I can charge money from your phone account. Premium SMS is working on close the same. One of the team members and business friend is since years in server software solutions for mobile phone operators. If you have such team members in your project team, then such an application is a easy task. For USSD you need maybe a seperate server as well. Nevertheless, if you know the right people then USSD is posssible as well. Last but not least you need firmware at the door and GSM modules that supports USSD in two way.

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