The global wireless M2M market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% over the next five years, hitting a market value of approximately $136 billion in revenues by the end of 2018.
Machine to machine (M2M) refers to technologies that allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same ability. M2M uses a device (such as a sensor or meter) to capture an event (such as temperature, inventory level, etc.), which is relayed through a network (wireless, wired or hybrid) to an application (software program), that translates the captured event into meaningful information (for example, items need to be restocked).
Such communication was originally accomplished by having a remote network of machines relay information back to a central hub for analysis, which would then be rerouted into a system like a personal computer.
Despite its low ARPU, the wireless M2M market has become a key focus of many mobile network operators as their traditional voice and data markets become saturated.
Likewise, government and regulatory initiatives such as the EU initiatives to have a smart meter penetration level of 80% by 2020 and the mandatory inclusion of automotive safety systems such as eCall in all new car models, have also helped to drive overall wireless M2M connections and revenue.
In early 2010 in the U.S., AT&T, KPN, Rogers, Telcel / America Movil and Jasper Wireless began to work together in the creation of a M2M site, which will serve as a hub for developers in the field of M2M communication electronics.
In February 2010, Vodafone, Verizon Wireless and nPhase (a joint partnership of Qualcomm and Verizon) announced their strategic alliance to provide global M2M solutions that would offer their customers an easy way to roll out M2M solutions across Europe and the US.
According to the independent wireless analyst firm, the number of cellular network connections worldwide used for M2M communication was 47.7 million in 2008. By 2014 this amount has been forecast to increase to 187 million.
A worldwide recovery in motor vehicle sales had a positive impact on the wireless M2M market. Automotive and fleet is the largest vertical market segment and is projected to remain so into the future.
For more information on the global M2M wireless market, see the latest research: Global M2M Wireless Market
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