So, why the reticence? On the side of self-interest, module vendors are simply not interested in participating in any efforts to further commoditize their industry.The module segment of the cellular M2M market has faced ongoing and increasing commoditization pressure throughout its history, and the entrance of APAC vendors such as Huawei and ZTE, joining SIMcom, only adds to the challenge for European and North American players such as Cinterion and Sierra Wireless.Customization means differentiation, and differentiation is one defense against commoditization.
However, there is more than just self-interest: the vendors also point to the variegated and complex needs of their M2M OEM customers.Modules are tailored and fine-tuned for specific features and functionality, and the GSMA’s vertical market orientation of their “guidelines” notwithstanding, there’s a strong belief that no “standard” module is going to be optimal for all customers in a given market or class of devices.
Will we eventually see modules marketed as “GSMA xx Standard Compliant” (or some variation thereof)? Our bet is, no.