O2 owner, Telefonica UK, has signed a deal with software developer Jasper Wireless to deploy a cloud-based management platform for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.

M2M enables electronic devices to communicate with one another without human intervention. Each device is given a unique identifier – like a SIM card in a mobile phone – which can connect to wireless sensors and the internet for management and monitoring, and to deliver services.

The deal will allow Telefonica UK's customers to roll out connected devices and manage them in real time. Jasper Wireless’ software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform provides a live view of all the devices that are connecting to the network and how they are using it.

Administrators can also use the platform to quickly distribute self-service tools for provisioning, real-time diagnostics and usage controls. Jasper Wireless said that by automating operational processes, companies can reduce total cost of ownership and provide better customer support.

The partnership is part of a global strategy, started in Spain, where Telefonica already provides M2M connectivity over Jasper Wireless' platform. The UK platform is now operational and is currently being used for a number of projects, the company said.

Both Telefonica and Jasper Wireless plan to bring their own M2M applications and services to market, focusing on vehicle telematics and smart metering.

“The UK is seeing strong M2M growth,” said Gilli Coston, Head of M2M at Telefónica UK, citing the development of new solutions within the 'Internet of Things' such as Smart City deployments.  

“With Jasper’s platform we can capitalise on this growth, providing our customers with enhanced services, such as instant activation, real-time diagnostics tools, and detailed billing and usage reports.”

Telefonica UK partner ASL Holdings, which is already using the platform capabilities for its clients, said the Jasper Wireless platform is exactly what the M2M industry needs.

“It allows us to deliver a service where our clients can take complete control of their SIMs and scale their network in-line with their business needs,” said Bill Berry, managing director of ASL Holdings.

The news follows Deutsche Telekom's announcement yesterday that it has launched the first online marketplace for machine-to-machine (M2M) communication technologies, providing manufacturers and dealers with a global distribution channel for their hardware, software and industry apps.

Jasper Wireless also provides M2M connectivity for Japanese mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo.