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Upside Opportunities for Machine-to-Machine Modules

Mobile machine-to-machine (M2M) modules -- based upon 2G technologies -- continued to dominate shipments in 2012 with over 70 percent market share, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.

As a result, module revenues did not break the $1 billion mark as hoped and the average module price continued to decline.

"Cellular M2M module price competition was intense in 2012 driven by several factors," says, Dan Shey, practice director at ABI Research.

Europe was not the traditional M2M module bellwether market and continued to decline in share of module shipments,

Meanwhile, some Chinese vendors competed aggressively in the higher volume 2G led market segments, and mobile network operators pushed hard for lower module pricing to grow total cellular connections.

However, unlike the personal cellular modem and even the smartphone market, M2M module vendors can insulate themselves from pricing competition by targeting the right industry verticals and offering additional services.

The average module price for the top vendors in the market ranged from $12 to $31. Vendors with higher average per module revenue are focused not just on application markets that seek 3G and 4G modules such as Fixed Wireless Terminals and OEM telematics.

These vendors also target industry sectors where module quality and additional services such as product integration expertise and device management services are key value components and drive customer retention.

ABI's M2M Embedded Module database provides cellular module shipment and revenue estimates for five world regions, and seven air interface technologies covering 2G, 3G, and 4G standards.

Moreover, Application segmentation is provided for 13 markets with new industry segmentation recently added. Country level data is offered for 10 countries.

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