Qualcomm has bought nPhase, a provider of "machine-to-machine" technology that helps large businesses manage and monitor dispersed computing devices, for an undisclosed sum.

Machine-to-machine telemetry is an evolving category of products that help interconnect machines with IT infrastructure and mobile workforces. They allow large businesses to manage and monitor fixed machine assets, such as cellular towers, gas pipelines and assembly line robotics, and mobile assets, such as truck fleets, heavy equipment and transportation.

The purchase "clearly shows our belief in this evolving industry," said president of Qualcomm Wireless Business Solutions, Joan Waltman, adding that it is "a gateway to a new area of wireless communications and machine intelligence".

Machine-to-machine products and services help improve performance and service quality. Users can receive alerts regarding critical situations, and control situations on their dispersed infrastructure through a computer or mobile computing device.

Qualcomm has focused on machine-to-machine technology since 1991, when it introduced the first wide-area, wireless, machine-to-machine applications called OmniTracs, the company's first mobile communication system for transportation fleet management.

Qualcomm will continue to offer products and services under the nPhase brand.