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Home | WiMAX Update | Vecima Networks, Multi-Mode Technology for the Telematics Industry

Multi-Mode Technology for the Telematics Industry

Robert Forget, AVP Product Management at Vecima Networks, talks to InterComms about the company’s new Multi Mode Radio Module (MMR)

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Q: Vecima has not traditionally developed mobile wireless equipment. What changed with the MMR and what areas are being targeted for it?
A: One of the largest plays in the fleet management (FM) market right now is safety and operational efficiency. As a company, Vecima decided to focus on multi-mode technology in order to improve the usability of an FM system that can also be used for asset tracking, driver safety and operational data gathering. We are dedicated to supporting and continuing to develop our equipment family in the wireless space. Now we are focusing new product development specifically towards vertical markets where we see a need for innovation.

Q: With the MMR, you have a product that is designed to work with fleets of all types, is this a new or a key growth market for you?
A: The Telematics industry itself is definitely not new. In Europe, for example, a form of fleet management and driver tracking has been legislated for the long haul trucking market for quite some time. We have been in the process of field trials and optimizations to better meet requirements for this market as well as focusing on some of the advanced features that customers have been requesting. The main driving point is proving ROI on a unit like this in North America where these functions are not necessarily legally required. We see growth being driven by real time data management, multi-mode capabilities and seamless integration into back office management software currently deployed.

Q: What are the key differentiators to the hardware?
A: The fact that this market is very much existing lent us the need to innovate beyond the norm. Taking some of our best practices from other product lines we developed a ‘modem’ that is modular in nature with multiple technologies being possible. With cellular both in the GSM space and CDMA space, we are able to lower monthly costs to our customers by automatically changing networks based on the location of the unit and the local tariff costs. With modular technology we focus on multiple other wireless technologies that benefit fleets including: WiFi, Zigbee, RFID and GPS. We also have a platform that can be adapted to meet the requirements of other technologies both wired and wireless to collect data and alarms for “man down” requirements and other specific needs.

Q: Could you explain other value-added services that you provide?
A: As with other product lines, Vecima has focused on the ability to provide a turnkey solution along with strategic partners, network access and back office support. A unique case here is our subsidiary YourLink. YourLink, being a service provider and web hosting company, is positioned perfectly to provide the data center requirements for data collection as well as hosting, fault and alert tracking plus access to nomadic Wi-Fi services to compliment the customer’s private Wi-Fi networks and cellular services. Our entry into the Automated Vehicle Location and Advanced Asset Tracking marketplace has developed as a proof of concept followed by a field trial unit with a Fortune 200 transportation company. The result has been a very fast ramp-up and significant test results confirming all operational systems for the Vecima Multi-Mode Radio platform. Of special interest has been an advanced processor capable of gathering and analyzing Engine and Chassis Control data for green-fleet operation, vehicle diagnostics and both driver and fleet performance improvement. Other uses for the MMR Module have been identified in Smart Metering and Advanced Instrumentation.

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