Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

China is world leader on M2M connections: GSMA

Iain Morris
June 12, 2014
China accounts for as much as 27% of total M2M connections worldwide, according to new research from the GSM Association, with more than 50 million connections in 2013.

The country’s M2M market has benefitted in its early stages from close collaboration between leading mobile operators, state-owned enterprises and government authorities, says the telecoms association, allowing it to grow dramatically in a relatively short period of time.

The GSMA says the foundations are already in place for further expansion and the development of the Internet of Things.

“China is a rapidly developing country that is investing in communications technologies that will make its cities smarter and provide a better quality of life for its citizens,” said Alex Sinclair, the GSMA’s chief technology officer. “Proactive government support has benefited China and its mobile operators, whereas in many global markets, regulatory uncertainty has held back the deployment of M2M solutions.”

“The addressable market and the opportunity for further growth is immense, especially when one considers the sheer number of ‘things’ such as cars or domestic appliances that could potentially be connected by mobile,” he added.

Asia remains the largest regional M2M market, according to GSMA figures, accounting for 40% of the world’s 189 million M2M connections at the end of 2013.

The continent added 55 million net connections between 2010 and 2013, with China the primary driver of growth in the region – adding 39 million connections over that period.

The GSMA says that demand from the energy and transportation industries has driven much of the early growth, but that M2M solutions are also gaining traction in the automotive, smart city, healthcare, education and retail sectors.

The study also indicates that China’s leading mobile operators have developed a range of sophisticated M2M service propositions that go beyond the provision of basic connectivity.

These typically combine a generic horizontal platform, designed to work across all industry sectors, with dedicated vertical platforms for specific application areas, such as automotive or healthcare.
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