The M2M modules market is on the verge of a dramatic shift caused by the rising adoption and falling prices of LTE technology, according to a new study from Machina Research.
According to the research, LTE modules will account for more than two thirds of all modules shipped for use in wireless wide area networks in 2022, up from just 0.5% in 2013, as the initial wave of LTE migration transforms markets in the US, Japan, South Korea, China and parts of Europe.
The take-up of LTE will be driven by what Machina Research calls a “perfect storm” of circumstances, including the decommissioning of 2G networks, rapidly expanding LTE coverage and falling equipment prices.
“A key impact of this technology migration is being felt by companies that currently have large-scale 2G M2M deployments or are looking to deploy new devices over the next few years,” stated Andy Castonguay, a principal analyst at Machina Research. “The combination of network decommissioning and evolving LTE module options presents a new challenge to product designers of connected devices and M2M solution providers.”
According to Machina Research, the migration to LTE will have major implications for enterprises choosing which technology to use in both existing and future M2M initiatives.
“For most M2M deployment decisions today, the primary issues are module and device costs in the context of what the specific application needs today and in the short term,” said Castonguay.
Machina Research goes on to say that conventional product development analysis will need to evolve quickly to consider long-term availability of the network, total cost of ownership for the M2M integration and the intended lifespan of an asset.
Enterprises embedding connectivity in devices with lifespans of more than three years will, as a consequence, have to consider the longevity of the host network.
With 2G, there is a risk that networks are decommissioned, leaving enterprises facing costly module replacement in the future.