Now on a path to reaching billions of connections for the Internet of Things (IoT), M2M software platforms are facilitating the next wave of mobile network growth.
ABI Research projects that revenues from two platforms currently dominating this market -- Application Enablement Platforms (AEPs) and Connected Device Platforms (CDPs) -- will grow to $3.85 billion by 2017.
AEPs try to do what mobile application development platforms do for smartphone applications -- decrease M2M application development time and extend application reach.
AEP application development functionality seeks to abstract away from the developer those aspects of the application that are common across many M2M applications such as data normalization and a data rules engine.
CDPs automate the provisioning and management of M2M module connectivity, which is critical in this low ARPU market.
CDPs also provide connectivity monitoring, real-time charging and policy control, and can integrate with existing BSS and OSS platforms.
"Custom development and islands of functionality characterize the current M2M market. AEP and CDP platforms intend to provide more horizontal capabilities that will expand the supplier base, end-user markets and ultimately facilitate a more connected planet," said Dan Shey, M2M practice director at ABI Research.
Mobile network operators will play important roles in driving the market moving forward. These service providers, particularly in North America and Western Europe, have a strong position in the CDP market, many with self-built CDPs.
They are also seeking to move into the AEP market as it is potentially a more lucrative portion of the M2M value chain. But network operator growth in the M2M market also means building roaming alliances and partnerships with other operators for their international customers.
ABI's M2M Software Platform database provides revenue forecasts for adoption of AEP and CDP platforms. Data is segmented by region including US and Canada break-outs; and by at least 10 different applications.