The machine-to-machine (M2M) space is heating up. According to ABI Research, the M2M market will show steady growth with compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) over 25%, hitting more than 180 million connections worldwide in 2013, growing to 232.5 million in 2014 and exceeding 297 million in 2015.
The evidence of this growth is all around. The four major carriers in North America--AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless--are all offering M2M services, as are alternative providers such as Kore Telematics and Numerex. In addition, they all have created in-house M2M business units and collaboration centers, notably AT&T with M2M 360 and Sprint with its M2M Collaboration Center. Verizon Wireless entered into a joint venture with Qualcomm, called nPhase, to deliver M2M solutions.
It’s not just the carriers that are getting into the M2M act. Telenor Connexion and Maestro Wireless Solutions have a joint venture in which Telenor will provide embedded connectivity solutions to Maestro’s portfolio of wireless industrial modems and integrations services for M2M. Gemalto, a digital security company, bought Cinterion Wireless Modules GmbH, a provider of industrial M2M communication modules, to strengthen its position in the M2M market. And Antenova Ltd, an integrated antenna and RF solutions company, has increased its focus on the wireless M2M and embedded device markets.
With the wide range of verticals that M2M covers--remote monitoring of utilities/smart grids, fleet tracking/telematics, remote monitoring of patients in healthcare, and public safety, to name a few--wireless M2M applications will continue to grow as businesses realize more applications that can be simply and cost-effectively enabled by M2M, making M2M one of the fastest growing segments in the mobile data business.