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Telematics Update interviews John Horn, national director for M2M at T-Mobile USA.

John Horn has been at T-Mobile for eight years, during which time he has developed and managed Indirect Distribution for the California launch, the largest launch in wireless history. He then took over the VAR program and helped to build it into a successful third party channel at T-mobile

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During the last five years, he has focused specifically on developing the M2M program and go-to-market strategy. In 2008, the M2M group became a separate business unit from the VAR Channel. John continues to lead the M2M Channel. He is working with T-Mobile’s European partners on M2M programs that can be supported in the US and Europe. In 2007 and 2008, he was named a M2M Pioneer.

What does your company do?

We at T-Mobile USA are leading the way in the M2M space! With more than 95 million customers worldwide and telemetry-specific sales and support teams in many countries, we have the most experience in supporting our partners' needs. We match the right solution with the right partner and the right customer, so that all members of the M2M ecosystem have the most positive experience possible.

How do you differentiate your offerings from your competitors?


We have the best activation platform available to help our partners manage the activation process, giving them the flexibility and control their business needs. We have a cutting edge billing platform that allows each solution provider to manage their costs by knowing exactly what they will spend. We have the first HSPA+ network in the US with blazing data speeds. Others can talk all day long about their network, but our partners tell us regularly that T-Mobile has the most solid data network in the US. Our solution providers do have a choice when they are deploying their applications; their name and credibility are on the line when that device is installed in the field. They choose T-Mobile. At T-Mobile, we are the easiest to do business with.

What industry milestone did you recently achieve?


Just completed our fourth straight year of over 100% growth.

Which trends will impact the industry the most in the coming years and why?


The first step is to simplify. We must be easy to do business with by adapting business practices that have been used to help build wireless to where it is today. We must be willing to admit that these same business practices could be an impediment to the future growth of the embedded ecosystem. We must eliminate steps that take a product from idea to development to market.

We must simplify the way we measure success. Measuring ARPU (here we go with the acronyms…) has made a lot of sense, but in this case we should be talking about revenue, margin and EBITDA instead. CCPU has been a critical measurement but with low SAC, CPGA and low network load requirements how important is it to use this model? Probably not as necessary.

We must also simplify billing to accommodate 'low usage' products and maybe even virtually 'no usage' products. High access fees and data rounding can destroy any embedded business model.

The next step is to be flexible. First off, the more open we are the better. In the past with a limited number of phones on our networks that each sell hundreds of thousands to millions of units, it has made sense to have detailed, rigorous certification processes. Now, with hundreds of unique devices tied to different vertical solutions, the same requirements will not be practical. It must be easier to get through process in order to get more embedded products to market.

The old ways of activating a phone will not work. We are not activating 'phones', we are activating 'modules' that could be in a car, a vending machine or a toaster. When, where and how that activation will take place will be as different as the number of solutions we support. We cannot dictate to other industries how they must change their infrastructure to meet ours if we want to be truly successful.

You are an integral part of our upcoming annual flagship show Telematics Detroit 2010. What key topics or issues you are looking at discussing with the industry at the show?
I will be focusing on how do you match up an industry that changes every six months (wireless) with an industry that has a ten-year development, sales and support cycle (automotive)?You are an integral part of our upcoming annual flagship show Telematics Detroit 2010.

What key topics or issues you are looking at discussing with the industry at the show?

I will be focusing on how do you match up an industry that changes every six months (wireless) with an industry that has a ten-year development, sales and support cycle (automotive)?

 

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