A new research report from Berg Insight says the market for mobile machine-to-machine (M2M) communications has begun to move from the 2G to 3G and 4G technologies.
Although cellular M2M devices on HSPA and LTE networks are expected to account for under 20% of the global market by the end of 2014, they’re forecast to dominate with more than 50% by 2018. Meanwhile, shipments of 3G/4G M2M devices are expected to overtake 2G M2M in 2017.
Some of this move towards newer technology has been driven by networks phasing out older services. In the USA, AT&T’s plans to shut down its 2G network are said to have “profoundly changed” the M2M hardware market, with most M2M devices shipped in North America expected to use 3G technology this year. However, Europe has a slower rate of adoption because 2G networks are expected to operate beyond 2020 in most countries.
Berg Insight says the main catalyst for the increased move towards 3G and 4G M2M is the growing data requirement of many applications.
Tobias Ryberg, Senior Analyst at Berg Insight and author of the report, said “Firstly, there is a general trend towards higher data consumption for most traditional M2M applications. Secondly, the automotive industry is getting very serious about realizing the vision of connected cars, which require mobile broadband connectivity. Early adopters such as GM and Audi recently introduced their first car models with embedded LTE in the US.”
[Berg Insight brochure: The Global Wireless M2M Market (pdf)]