M2M Connectivity at 2 Billion Devices by 2018

Nov. 7, 2013
ABI Research Examines Demand and Appeal for M2M Connectivity Across Wireless Technologies Within Nine Key Industry Verticals

M2M connectivity will be embedded in more than 2 billion devices across nine key industries by 2018, but it will be cellular technology that will bring the bulk of the value and the connectivity revenues.

A new generation of smart devices is set to have embedded connectivity, and manufacturers have a number of technologies to select to deliver network connectivity. ABI Research examined the demand and appeal for M2M connectivity across cellular, satellite, fixed-line and short-range wireless technologies within nine key industry verticals. Each technology has specific advantages and appeal, but cellular is the best placed to deliver the most value, hence revenues, for the connection.

"Looking at demand for connectivity, while cellular will not have the highest number of connections or the highest average revenue per connection, it will provide the greatest opportunity to drive the most overall value from those connections," explains Jonathan Collins, principal analyst and author of the new report.

Industries including automotive, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, security, energy and others will all add connectivity to devices and products in a bid to improve efficiency, cut costs and improve customer service. Across M2M device connectivity options, a combination of mobility, flexibility, coverage and simple connection management will ensure strong adoption for cellular. The value around that proposition also positions cellular network operators to best leverage a return for those connections.

"Over the forecast period, short-range wireless or wireless sensor network connectivity will outpace cellular connection growth, but there is little ability for those connections to directly deliver any revenues for the provision of that connectivity," Collins adds. "In addition, satellite, with higher revenue per connection, does not have the same versatility as cellular, which limits its appeal to fewer verticals."