Telematics remains an area of growth in the broader M2M market, as is security and a variety of mHealth applications. In other sectors, such as the smart home and consumer electronics, Wi-Fi is becoming the dominant technology, though mobile technology is used to access the cloud and is likely to play a subsidiary role.
Meanwhile business models are beginning to account for new technology and open source software related concepts and developments -- one of the latest to gain significant traction is the notion of an Internet of Things (IoT).
Juniper Research now forecasts that the Far East and China region will account for 22 percent of global cellular M2M connections by 2019 -- that's a substantial increase from 15 percent in 2014.
The new research found that concerted ongoing efforts by China's major telecom providers -- particularly in smart metering and connected cars -- will account for the rise of connected devices in China. However, established M2M markets in North America and Western Europe will likely retain the majority of connected device revenues.
"China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile have all made strides to embrace M2M," said Anthony Cox, senior analyst at Juniper Research. "In many cases, they are providing end-to-end solutions, supported by systems integration and dedicated charging policies."
The research argued that this surge has been aided by State Grid Corporation of China's plan to spend $68.7 billion in smart grid technologies this year.
Nonetheless, in the case of smart metering, the average revenue generated per device is constrained by complexity in deployment as well as a lack of a clear business model.
Additionally, the research observed a trend from merely connected devices towards connected ecosystems. This development has in turn driven the application of Big Data analytics in some verticals, unlocking the potential of M2M.
Juniper claims that increasing interest in white-space radio spectrum would in turn enable the number of M2M modules to proliferate, due to the lower cost and power requirements of modules designed to function in this spectrum.
Other key findings from the study include:
- Juniper Research forecasts that the global M2M sector will deliver service revenues of over $40 billion by 2019.
- M2M in agriculture is increasing in importance for monitoring farm animals and increasing productivity through precise field-mapping.
- M2M will increasingly form the backhaul infrastructure necessary for emerging Internet of Things applications.