Berg Insight forecasts that the total number of cellular (mobile) machine-to-machine connections in the global retail industry will grow from 18.4 million last year to reach 33.3 million connections in 2018. That’s a compound annual growth rate of 12.6%.
Cellular M2M connections are used on a range of retail devices including Point-of-Sale terminals, ATMs and ticket machines, avoiding the need for a fixed-line data connection.
Shipments of cellular M2M devices for retail applications will increase at a CAGR of 6.5%, from 6.6 million units in 2013 to 9.1 million in 2018.
At the moment, the majority of all mobile M2M connections in the retail industry are in Point-of-Sale terminals. At the end of 2013, almost 90% of all cellular M2M connections were for PoS equipment. Conversely, just 7.4% of vending machines in North America and just 2.9% of vending machines in Europe are connected.
Lars Kurkinen, Senior Analyst at Berg Insight, said “Vending is the largest untapped market for wireless M2M in the retail industry. Every vending machine will eventually be connected, but costs for the wireless M2M hardware and subscriptions still need to come down significantly before this vision becomes reality.”
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