According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, the installed base of cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) devices will approach 500 million modules by 2018, driven by more open M2M ecosystems and improved cloud-based APIs.
According to their assessment, the M2M space is seeing an increasing focus on the development of open platforms that simplify connectivity to a wide range of isolated devices through the cloud. This movement is already in motion.
Juniper believes that the advent of Big Data emerging from M2M service provision will, in time, allow for improved interrogation of M2M data sets -- opening the door to new revenue streams for companies and M2M operators.
How the Internet of Things will Evolve
Juniper found that M2M roll-outs have become increasingly global, with mobile network operators facilitating M2M roaming and tailoring services and approaches to industry verticals.
"Mobile technologies will play an important role in the creation of the Internet of Things, particularly as mobile chipsets and modules continue to reduce in price," said Anthony Cox, associate analyst at Juniper Research.
Meanwhile, new initiatives -- including the use of white space spectrum released from the digitization of TV -- will eventually create new platforms for widespread roll out, particularly in the U.S. and the UK markets.
However, the prospects of M2M services in certain sectors, such as mHealth and consumer electronics, have been adversely affected by improvements in the smartphone app ecosystem and the increased ubiquity of the tablet.
This scenario is allowing hub-based models to replace services that may have previously been offered by bespoke M2M devices. I predict that we'll start to see a broader range of meaningful M2M use cases emerge in 2014, as service providers move beyond the hyperbole and explore the most compelling apps.
Additional findings from the market study include:
- M2M service provision based on 4G technology is beginning to find a market in CCTV, Mobile POS, Digital Signage, and as a backup for fixed broadband services.
- Telematics remains the anchor M2M industry sector as virtually all major vehicle manufacturers are now deploying or planning to deploy M2M modules in new vehicles.