Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, the technology enabling a global mobile Internet of Things, is booming and will continue to attract investment in 2014.
As the M2M industry continues to mature and build scale globally, services are improving and prices are coming down. Analyst firm Analysys Mason estimates M2M was worth $10 billion in 2013, and that this will increase to $88 billion by 2023. Much of that growth will come from emerging markets, thanks to greater affordability in tandem with best practice and technology improvements.
M2M technology is driving trends in emerging markets that are changing lifestyles. For example, we’re seeing the move from cash-based to cashless societies, as mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) payments are enabled through embedded connectivity in payment terminals. 2014 will see increasing use of credit card terminals to take payments wirelessly at the point of sale.
Fixed line infrastructure remains expensive, which is one reason why abundant organizations are making increasing use of mobile by investing in M2M technology. As well as being cost-effective, M2M also has great potential for improving process-based efficiency as well as promoting innovation to enhance competitive advantage in highly penetrated markets.
M2M connectivity has broad applicability in an infinite range of consumer and business contexts. Aside from mPOS, verticals that will continue to be most successful in emerging markets in 2014 include automotive, security and building automation. Examples of applications in these areas are stolen vehicle tracking, where a missing vehicle can be immediately located and immobilised and the authorities can be sent to its precise location and security camera systems that monitor buildings hooked up to the mobile network.
To meet the huge demand for M2M connectivity coming from enterprises and government organizations, mobile operators across the world are confidently investing in M2M. 2014 will see more mobile operators launching and developing M2M offerings, including those serving developing regions such as Latin America and India.
Macario Namie, VP Marketing, Jasper Wireless