Ericsson’s withdrawal from the mobile broadband modules market, announced on December 1 (click here), was explained as being due to “our position on the market does not provide the scale we need to achieve the desired profitability. We have therefore decided to phase out the business”. No thought of selling it off then.
Back in October 2010, AT&T decided to recommend three module suppliers for its push into M2M. The announcement read “Teaming with leading equipment makers Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE, AT&T is expected to certify a total of 11 mobile broadband modules for the 3G Access Program. The modules will be compatible with a range of applications, including consumer electronics, M2M and computing devices.”
Along with others at the time, we wondered if it was sensible for AT&T to seemingly turn its back on the traditional M2M module suppliers by not also recommending them. It was of course compatible with AT&T’s drive at the time to move the M2M business away from 2G and towards 3G. The trouble is, M2M is still predominantly a 2G business and market demand is not encouraging a dramatic change to 3G. Now that Ericsson is going, it effectively means that AT&T will now recommend two Chinese suppliers only.
One cannot help but feel that something has gone wrong somewhere . . .