Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Connected-car initiatives to fuel LTE growth in M2M: Infonetics

Iain Morris
April 23, 2014
The number of M2M wide area network (WAN) connections worldwide will nearly triple from around 220 million today to more than 630 million in 2018, according to a new study from Infonetics Research, as enterprises look to M2M technology to reduce costs and improve their agility.

The market-research company says cellular technologies, in particular, will play a vital role in facilitating the provision of M2M services, and already support the vast majority of WAN wireless M2M connections.

“Among the cellular generations, 2G and 3G are the majority currently, but it’s LTE that will grow the fastest, starting from a small base and then expanding rapidly, supported by efforts like AT&T/GM/OnStar and other connected car initiatives, as well as China Mobile’s massive LTE TDD network rollout,” said Godfrey Chua, directing analyst for M2M and the Internet of Things at Infonetics.

According to Infonetics, the global market for M2M services generated around $16 billion in 2013, when there were nearly 1.7 billion M2M connections worldwide.

There are now a number of large players that each support more than 10 million connections, adds Infonetics.

Moreover, so-called “access” services – whereby operators’ broadband services function as M2M access solutions – make up more than 16% of M2M service revenues.

Another finding is that 80% of M2M devices in 2013 were connected via personal area network technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ZigBee.
Infonetics says it will become increasingly important for technology vendors to build networking solutions that take into consideration the architectural requirements of various M2M use cases – as well as the portfolio of emerging connection technologies.
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