With connectivity already in focus, the next wave of profits to come off M2M applications.
As the convergence of the information and communications with other industries drives advanced concepts including connected health, smart utility, and smart transport systems, mobile network operators (MNOs) are expanding their machine-to-machine (M2M) portfolios. Europe is at the forefront in the evolution of technologies to drive growth and competitiveness. Currently, the focus revolves around M2M connectivity, but the next and more profitable wave will be around M2M applications.
Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, European Machine to Machine (M2M) Connectivity Outlook – Part 1, assesses the M2M market in Germany, France, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the UK in terms of connectivity and market participants. It provides strategic suggestions to telecommunications providers on how to catch the next wave of M2M.
The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 33 per cent is expected for the market in these countries between 2011 and 2016. The number of SIM connections is expected to reach 75 million in 2016, with the UK market taking the lead followed by Germany.
In the last 5 years, the M2M market in Europe has significantly evolved with market demand becoming more structured in certain applications. Telcos are fine-tuning their market strategies to better reflect their core capabilities and overall M2M vision.
“The largest driver for M2M telecom service providers has been relying on their core connectivity expertise.”
Frost & Sullivan Telecommunications and Connected Public Sector Industry Manager Saverio Romeo, said:
“Besides tapping into immediate M2M application areas where legislation is a driver for adoption – such as eCall for connected cars in Europe and in smart meters – M2M telcos are also increasingly positioned for the wave of M2M functions that are dictated by business objectives.”
The next waves of M2M applications are expected in healthcare, industrial automation, and consumer electronics. There will also be steady demand for security and remote surveillance, retail and other process automation applications. However, for the surge to occur, further consumer education is required. M2M telcos must continue to provide consulting services to build use cases and define an acceptable return on investments.
The market is undoubtedly on a strong growth path, driven by the shift towards “smart communities”. While M2M technologies are only one part of a framework of ICT enablers for the delivery of smart community services, it is a crucial one and telcos are trying to leverage inherent advantages to optimize their share in the burgeoning market that spans various verticals.
“In the midst of market evolution towards a smart community future, a successful M2M telco is one that is best positioned to rapidly move beyond connectivity offers, capture a larger proportion of M2M-related revenue, develop a smart community marketplace, and do so with the most cost-efficient route to market,” said Frost & Sullivan M2M and ICT in Smart Utilities Industry Manager Yiru Zhong.
To achieve this, MNOs must nurture the entire eco-system of stakeholders and collaborative partners to boost innovative efforts, bundle value-added services with M2M connectivity, and differentiate by simplifying the deployment and operation of an M2M project.