The number of M2M connections worldwide is set to rise from 368 million in 2013 to 2.9 billion by 2022, according to new research from Strategy Analytics.
The market-research company also expects 3G or even faster networks to account for 78% of all M2M connections by the end of the forecast period.
M2M growth is being driven by a number of factors, says Strategy Analytics, including M2M platform evolution, application and analytics developments, regulation and the creation of new business opportunities.
The company also notes that service platforms supporting connectivity – as well as application development for building “turnkey” customer solutions – remain critically important in allowing M2M players to offer affordable solutions.
However, regulations are also driving forwards the development of the market, with the US Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Europe’s eCall legislation providing a spur to the healthcare and telematics industries.
“Regulation has always been a key driver pushing M2M forward, whether it’s the emergence of the ACA or smart metering initiatives in Europe or China,” said Andrew Brown, director of enterprise and M2M research at Strategy Analytics.
However, Brown also believes that investment by industrial giants like GE, and pressure from companies pursuing over-the-top initiatives, are providing the impetus for M2M growth.
Addressing the question of technology standards, Strategy Analytics says the “sunset” of 2G in the US and long lifecycles in many M2M markets will result in an “accelerated shift” towards 3G and 4G in the next few years.
“This will only be enhanced by richer applications such as streaming video and digital signage, culminating in 78% percent of M2M connections being 3G or faster networks by 2022,” said Gina Luk, a senior analyst of enterprise research and M2M at Strategy Analytics.