New Study Points to Strong Growth in M2M Sector as ‘Connected Living’ Comes of Age.
Global machine-to-machine (M2M) connections¹ will hit a quarter of a billion this year, according to a new report² by the GSMA, underscoring that M2M has become a major growth area for mobile operators.
The new report from GSMA Intelligence, ‘From concept to delivery: the M2M market today’, tracks the development of the M2M market from 2010 and confirms that ‘Connected Living’ has come of age as operators begin to scale deployments of M2M solutions across a range of vertical sectors.
The study finds that global M2M connections reached 195 million in 2013, growing at nearly 40 per cent per year (38 per cent CAGR) between 2010 and 2013. M2M connections are expected to reach 250 million this year. M2M accounted for 2.8 per cent of all global mobile connections at the end of 2013, double the 1.4 per cent share recorded in 2010.
Hyunmi Yang, Chief Strategy Officer, GSMA said:
“We are now living in a world where every device, machine or appliance can be wirelessly connected to the internet, providing a wealth of real-time information that can transform how people live and work. For mobile operators, connecting ‘machines’ to their networks is now a major focus area.”
“But it is not just about adding new types of connections: there is an opportunity for mobile operators to add value far beyond connectivity by developing M2M capabilities that reduce fragmentation and stimulate new services. For example, defining cross-vertical solutions in network APIs, device management, security and big data are areas where operators can help drive the M2M market forwards.”
According to the study, around 428 mobile operators currently offer M2M services across 187 countries; this is equivalent to 40 per cent of the world’s mobile operators.
Operators surveyed in the report are now undertaking real commercial M2M deployments, indicating that the market has moved from an early-stage to mass-market delivery phase. Many operators also commented that they are adapting their organisational structures and business models in order to serve a range of vertical industries with M2M solutions.
The report indicated that the automotive industry was one of the fastest-growing M2M markets. Indeed consumers can now benefit from in-car connectivity and services such as flexible usage based Pay-as-You-Drive (PAYD) insurance and real-time traffic management.
“It is clear that the M2M market has moved from a period of development towards a commercial deployment phase,” said Jurgen Hase, Vice President M2M Competence Center, Deutsche Telekom. “M2M is of significant strategic importance to our business with huge growth potential across a number of industry segments. We can already see the impact it is having on our everyday lives.”
“M2M matters because it rearranges workflows to be more frictionless. Increasingly we at SingTel are focusing on solutions that create more value for our customers beyond connectivity. We are looking at different ways to deepen our offering,” said MrZia Zaman, Vice President, Emerging Businesses and Strategy, SingTel Group Enterprise. “Initially our efforts were focused on making sure we were providing excellent connectivity. Now that has been achieved we are focusing on moving up the value chain.”
“Our customers are becoming more sophisticated in their use of M2M technology and more aware of the opportunities it creates. We believe that by aligning ourselves with their approach to the market we are creating new and stronger partnerships to help expand the adoption and use of M2M globally,” Jari Salminen, M2M business development at Vodafone.
Key GSMA Intelligence data findings:
- Global M2M connections reached 195 million in 2013, growing at almost 40% per year (38% CAGR) between 2010 and 2013
- M2M connections now account for 2.8% of all global mobile connections, double the 1.4% share recorded in 2010
- 428 mobile operators offer M2M services across 187 countries; this is equivalent to 40% of the world’s mobile operators
- Asia is the largest regional M2M market accounting for 42% of global M2M connections, followed by Europe (28%), North America (18%), Latin America (8%), Africa (4%) and Oceania (1%)
- M2M connections growth has seen to be generally stronger in developing markets over the last three years — this is partly due to growth in China, the world’s largest mobile market, and now the single largest M2M market too
- North America had the highest proportion of M2M connections on a regional basis, where M2M accounts for almost one in ten mobile connections
- On a country basis, M2M accounted for almost a quarter of total connections in Sweden in 2013
¹ What is a machine-to-machine connection? While operators and regulators increasingly report M2M connections, their definitions can vary considerably. The GSMA Intelligence M2M connections data used in the new study refers exclusively to a SIM connection that enables mobile data transmission between machines. It does not count SIMs used in personal computing devices such as smartphones, dongles, tablets, e-readers, routers and hotspots.
² The first part of the report analyses the current state of the M2M market based on the new GSMA Intelligence research. It marks the start of a series of qualitative and quantitative outputs led by GSMA Intelligence as the GSMA grows its capability to accurately measure the global M2M market opportunity. The second section of the report is based on separate research conducted directly with operators to understand market trends with the aim of presenting the most accurate picture of the M2M market today. Interviews were carried out with individuals with direct responsibility for M2M at a dozen leading global mobile operators.