Looking Forward with M2M


As the new year begins, many in the M2M industry are taking stock of the market, and research firms are offering predictions and analysis for the coming months. Overall, M2M is expected to grow, boosted by maturing vertical markets and increased interest in the IoT (Internet of Things).

Consulting firm Ovum, www.ovum.com, calls M2M “a bright spot in the rapidly maturing mobile industry” but also says operators will not realize its full potential without strategic partnering. During the next five years, Ovum predicts M2M revenues will grow to reach $44.8 billion, with more than a third of this amount coming from the Asia-Pacific region.

Ovum also says revenues will grow slightly more slowly than connections, which the firm says is due to the increasing competiveness of the marketplace, as well as lower-value applications. The fastest growth will come in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa, and the most important vertical markets will include healthcare, manufacturing, and energy and utilities.

Ovum is careful to say their forecast is not for the IoT, “but rather of managed and paid-for connections over public mobile networks.” In order for carriers to tap the full potential of this market, Ovum says they must work to develop relationships with device manufacturers and systems integrators.

Research firm Strategy Analytics, www.strategyanalytics.com, echoed Ovum by calling out healthcare as a major market in M2M. The majority of revenues will come from services designed to “streamline or replace existing costly face-to-face processes, monitor and track patients with chronic conditions, as well as assist with other IT automation to improve efficiency and reduce costs,” says the company.

Other strong categories cited by Strategy Analytics include consumer electronics, utilities, and vehicles. Together with healthcare, the firm says these categories will make up 85% of overall revenues by 2022. Overall, Strategy Analytics forecasts M2M to grow from a $45 billion industry in 2013 to $242 billion in 2022.

When thinking about how M2M could impact the enterprise, mobility is a top concern. In its list of “7 Mobile Enterprise Predictions for 2014” FeedHenry, www.feedhenry.com, says one trend is mobile applications playing an increasing role in the IoT. While in the past, many mobile enterprise deployments focused on enablement of employees and customers for specific applications, FeedHenry says now organizations will mobilize a broader set of assets and backend data sets.

M2M is making a difference across the board, from healthcare to consumer devices to enterprise applications. However the revenue numbers end up, it seems industry growth will continue in the coming years. 

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