Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Vodafone gets M2M lift from Finland's Kone

Iain Morris
April 15, 2014

Vodafone has signed a deal with Finland’s Kone under which it will supply remote-monitoring technology that helps the elevator manufacturer to maintain equipment it has installed worldwide.

The telecoms operator said the M2M service would allow Kone (Espoo, Finland) to schedule “proactive maintenance tasks” and keep downtime to an absolute minimum.

Vodafone (Newbury, UK) will embed SIM cards into lifts that Kone wants to maintain, allowing operational data to be sent and received wirelessly over its network.

Using the system, Kone will be able to receive data about operational performance on a daily basis.

By comparing this with historical logs, the manufacturer will be able to monitor trends and take steps to prevent faults from developing.

“We want to be the best maintenance partner for our customers and provide the highest quality level possible,” said Thomas Hietto, KONE’s senior vice president, maintenance services business. “Being able to analyse data means we can also adopt an even more proactive approach to maintenance – and, because this is machine talking to machine, improve overall efficiency.”

The deal also appears to have major implications for other telecoms operators that had previously provided services to Kone.

In its statement, Vodafone said Kone was looking for a single service provider to replace the numerous contracts it had around the world.

Regulations stipulate that lifts have to include working phones in the event of emergencies, but Kone had experienced installation delays in its dealings with fixed-line operators and decided to opt for a mobile communications technology instead.

“Our global platform means that Kone can create a single repeatable technology operated across multiple countries through a partnership with just one provider rather than trying to manage a series of individual country contracts through numerous providers,” said Erik Brenneis, Vodafone’s M2M director. “We are delighted to help Kone achieve their goal of greater operational efficiency and a more seamless experience for their customers.”

In particular, the deal may come as something of a blow to Germany’s Deutsche Telekom (Bonn), which had signed a multinational agreement to provide cloud-based IT services to Kone in mid-2013 and looked in a strong position to secure additional work of this nature, given its prioritization of M2M services.

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