The number of worldwide cellular M2M connections is forecast to soar from its current level of 277 million to a staggering 2.5 billion by 2020, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.
A combination of factors, including global connectivity platforms, efforts at standardization, cloud computing and regulatory initiatives will help contribute to a compound annual growth rate of more than 30% between now and 2020, says the company.
Strategy Analytics reckons that most M2M activity will come in the areas of mHealth, smart metering, telematics and automation.
It says that mHealth will be a key driver of take-up in both developed and developing markets, through growth in both dedicated devices and mobile handsets.
Meanwhile, smart metering and telematics are already gaining traction in markets such as China, where the “Internet of Things” has been highlighted as a key technology initiative.
M2M will also play a key role in smart cities, as increasing urbanization sees major updates to infrastructure, providing a significant lift to smart energy, transportation and automation, among other industries.
“We seem to have been at the cusp of an explosion in M2M for many years, without it being realized, but finally changes are happening that will enable the M2M market to show real growth over the forecast period,” said Andrew Brown, director of M2M research at Strategy Analytics and author of the study. “Carriers’ development of global connectivity platforms, efforts to standardize the M2M service layer, such as the M2M initiative, and government regulation will all help to realize the potential of the M2M market.”
“Whether monitoring patients or smart meters, the ubiquity of mobile data combined with M2M service capabilities is enabling real world changes that help us more effectively distribute resources, as well as proactively understand the world around us,” added Kevin Burden, director of mobility at Strategy Analytics.