Research from the GSMA forecasts that the number of machine-to-machine (M2M) connections around the world will reach a quarter of a billion this year.
The figure only refers to SIM-enabled connections that enable mobile data transmission between machines, which excludes smartphones, tablets, eBook readers, dongles, routers and hotspots.
Global M2M connections grew at an average of 38% per year between 2010 and 2013, reaching 195 million last year. That means M2M accounted for 2.8% of all global mobile connections at the end of 2013, double the 1.4% share recorded three years earlier in 2010.
According to the report, almost 430 mobile operators currently offer M2M services across 187 countries.
Hyunmi Yang, the GSMA’s Chief Strategy Officer, said “We are now living in a world where every device, machine or appliance can be wirelessly connected to the internet, providing a wealth of real-time information that can transform how people live and work. For mobile operators, connecting ‘machines’ to their networks is now a major focus area. But it is not just about adding new types of connections: there is an opportunity for mobile operators to add value far beyond connectivity by developing M2M capabilities that reduce fragmentation and stimulate new services. For example, defining cross-vertical solutions in network APIs, device management, security and big data are areas where operators can help drive the M2M market forwards."
[GSMA ‘From concept to delivery: the M2M market today’ report (pdf)]