A new report by IMS Research forecasts that the number of mobile machine-to-machine (M2M) connections worldwide will treble in five years, from around 107 million connections in 2011 to 326 million connections by 2016. It says this growth is being driven by a number of factors, including government regulation, a desire for increased efficiency, declining costs and the availability of services that make it easier to develop M2M applications.
In addition, M2M is being seen as a growth opportunity by mobile network operators; not just from the connections and data traffic but by offering value-added services and partnering with application service providers.
Sam Lucero, senior principal analyst at IMS Research, said “Mobile operators are not simply providing managed connectivity services to the cellular M2M market but increasingly are ‘connecting the dots’ among M2M ecosystem players, including suppliers and developers - and this benefits the market as a whole. Examples of this proactive role by mobile operators range from establishing module supply programs to developing partnerships with platform vendors and solution suppliers to reduce overall complexity in the value chain.”
IMS Research estimates that around 10% - 30% of the overall value generated by M2M services comes from managed connectivity, which is leading mobile operators to to increase their share of M2M revenue.