Global revenues from M2M services will more than double between 2012 and 2017, rising from just less than $15 billion to more than $31 billion, according to a new study from Infonetics Research.
The market-research company also expects the number of M2M connections to surpass four billion by 2017, up from around 1.4 billion in 2012.
However, Infonetics urges operators to think beyond cellular technology when envisaging their future M2M services.
Erstwhile Telecom Italia chief executive Franco Bernabe has resigned from his role as chairman of the GSM Association.
The move was expected, coming shortly after Bernabe stood down from his position as chairman and chief executive of Italian phone incumbent Telecom Italia (Milan, Italy).
Hardware company Telit has unveiled a device it describes as the market’s smallest cellular M2M module.
The so-called GE866-QUAD works in a variety of GSM spectrum bands and is targeted specifically at the “wearable” technology segment, which includes products such as Google Glass, the internet giant’s high-profile augmented-reality spectacles.
Network operator Sprint has struck a five-year agreement to support usage-based insurance (UBI) services and telematics solutions on behalf of Himex.
Himex (Scottsdale, AZ, USA) – which claims to offer “the fastest and most complete route in the industry to the implementation of UBI” – appears to have chosen Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) largely because of its ongoing commitment to support 2G services, in contrast with larger operators AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) and Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA).
Cellular M2M connections are set to reach more than 450 million globally by 2018, according to a new study from ABI Research.
The market-research company says that Europe dragged down worldwide connection growth in 2011 and 2012 but that an improving world economy will help connections to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 26% between now and 2018.
Nevertheless, while connections appear to have been growing, average revenue per user (ARPU) has continued to decline, notes ABI.
China has overtaken the US to become the world’s largest market for cellular M2M connections, according to recent research from Informa.
In a blog post, Jamie Moss, an analyst with Informa, said the organization’s Cellular M2M Tracker showed that China Mobile added another 5.5 million M2M connections in the second half of 2012, propelling China ahead of the US on this measure.
According to Moss, the growth reported by China Mobile was roughly the same number of connections the UK had in total at the end of 2012.
Chinese equipment maker ZTE has reported a 23% increase in net profit for the first half of the year, to RMB302 million ($49.2 million), even though revenues slid by 11.6%, to RMB37.7 billion.
In a statement, the company blamed the revenues slippage on a decline in revenue from GSM and UMTS products in China as well as poor sales of GSM handsets and data cards both at home and abroad.
M2M hardware specialist u-blox has launched a new module that works on GSM and GPRS networks and is designed for use in devices operating in potentially explosive environments, such as gas smart meters.
The so-called SARA G350 ATEX provides support for a range of M2M applications requiring dual or quad-band GSM/GPRS, voice and data and in-band modem support for eCall and ERA GLOSNASS vehicle emergency call applications.
US operator Sprint is working with MVNO M2M DataSmart on an initiative to attract more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to the M2M marketplace.
The two companies, which struck a wholesale agreement in September last year, say they are promoting more “open access” of data and network services so that entrepreneurial start-ups – as well as traditional OEM companies – can more easily commercialize their M2M concepts.
With a debate raging over the most appropriate cellular technology for M2M services, Aeris Communications has added GSM connectivity services to its offer and revealed that carmaker FIAT has become its first GSM customer.
The company, which describes itself as the only cellular operator catering exclusively to the M2M market, has long provided connectivity services over the rival CDMA standard but evidently felt a need to fortify its position, with various technologies facing an uncertain future.