Automotive emergency systems are just one of the targets for Wavecom’s platform based technology. By Graham Pitcher.

It’s the mobile phone which comes to mind when the acronym gsm gets mentioned. Yet there is substantial demand from more traditional embedded applications for such wireless connectivity. Leading this demand is the automotive sector, with its growing interest in telematics and safety, and the industrial sector, as M2M slowly becomes more fact than fiction. And, with a little irony, it’s one of the pioneers of providing gsm connectivity for mobile phone handsets that is looking to make further gains in the embedded communications market. Wavecom was founded in France in 1993 with the vision of allowing all devices to connect wirelessly. But it took until 1997 for Wavecom to produce its first prepackaged and pre qualified wireless module for the handset market. But Wavecom is now focusing on the embedded market. Underlining that focus was last year’s acquisition of the M2M interests of Sony Ericsson. Ron Black is the company’s ceo. “About 10 years ago, it was forecast that the non handset market would be enormous and that all these machines would benefit from sharing information. All this was true, but making it a reality has been a big problem until recently.” The reason? According to Black: “The market remains fragmented and there are no standards.” Acquiring Sony Ericsson’s M2M business was a step towards developing those standards. Wavecom has put together what Black believes is a ‘strong technology platform’ based on ‘simple standards’ and interoperability. But Black is well aware that Wavecom’s platform is a proprietary offering in an increasingly open world.