M2M Represents 10 Per Cent of All Mobile Connections in the US, Driven by Huge Growth in the Automotive and Utilities Sectors; US Accounts for 19 Per Cent of All M2M Connections Worldwide.
The United States is one of the largest and most advanced machine-to-machine (M2M) markets in the world, with M2M representing one in 10 of all mobile connections in the region, compared with one in 20 in Europe and one in 100 in Africa, according to the new GSMA report “Driving Innovation in Connected Living – The US Flags the Future of M2M.” The US accounted for 35 million connections or 19 per cent of all global M2M connections at the end of 2013, a figure that is expected to reach 41 million this year, driven in particular by advances in the automotive, utilities and oil and gas sectors, according to GSMA Intelligence. US operators are meeting this burgeoning growth by forming strategic alliances and tactical partnerships with industry specialists to address the specific needs of a variety of vertical sectors.
The report also highlights that although the US M2M market is one of the biggest in the world, it is still in the early stages of its development and needs to address a number of significant challenges in order to fulfill its potential. The market currently lacks standardisation, which limits interoperability, causes fragmentation and restricts economies of scale, as well as the rate of growth. There is also relatively little co-operation between the private and public sectors in many parts of the economy and in some sectors, such as healthcare, there is a lack of regulatory clarity. However, despite these challenges, the market will also see growing demand in areas such wearable technology, connected cars and the connected home enabled by M2M connections.
Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA, said:
“The US has taken a leading role in the deployment of next-generation network technologies and is now extending that far-sighted approach to M2M technology, particularly with innovative services in the Connected Car and Connected Home spaces.”
“However, without common, interoperable standards and appropriate regulation, the US market cannot reach its full potential. We look forward to continuing our work with US operators to help them deliver the full power of M2M technology and the Internet of Things, providing important socio-economic benefits to citizens and businesses alike.”
The Automotive Opportunity
The US currently has 250 million cars on its roads, with 15.9 million either registered or purchased in 2013, according to the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA). In this context it is easy to understand why the automotive sector remains the largest addressable market for future M2M growth in America. Consumer demand for in-car connectivity and services such as fuel consumption, safety monitoring, real-time news, maintenance and even pay-as-you-drive insurance subscriptions are growing apace.
M2M Technology in Utilities and Home Automation
The US has also been fast to deploy smart grids that use connected smart meters to track energy consumption in real time and enable a homeowner or business to remotely monitor their use of power, with 43 million smart meters installed across the country as of the end of 2012. In many cases, smart meters may be integrated into a broader home automation system that enables the householder to remotely control heating, air conditioning, lighting and even individual appliances, such as security cameras or burglar alarms. There were approximately 2.3 million smart home installations in North America in 2013.
Embedded SIM to Accelerate M2M Market
AT&T recently became the first operator in the United States to launch the GSMA Embedded SIM specification. The GSMA’s Embedded SIM specification allows mobile network operators to provide scalable, reliable and secure connectivity for M2M connected devices that are often hermetically sealed, such as in the connected car or smart meters. It also facilitates over-the-air operator provisioning and management, which provides service flexibility to end customers. The GSMA’s Embedded SIM specification promotes a common global architecture that will reduce costs, drive efficiencies and further accelerate the rapidly growing M2M market, which is set to reach 244 million global connections this year, according to GSMA Intelligence.
To download the report, please visit: www.gsma.com/newsroom/wp-content/uploads/us-m2m-2014.pdf.