Every January, the question on the industry’s mind is: Which vertical markets will drive M2M (machine-to-machine) adoption in the year ahead? This year, as always, that answer is a matter of opinion. But chances are, no matter which vertical market you single out, you’ll be right in some respect, because growth is expected across the board.
ABI Research, www.abiresearch.com, suggests the M2M market has become “a fully mainstream segment of the cellular industry.” In fact, the firm’s latest study says the market for cumulative cellular M2M connections will reach approximately 365 million connections by 2016. This would be a dramatic increase, considering there were an estimated 110 million connections in 2011.
What’s interesting about ABI’s report is not the number of connections expected by 2016, but the means by which M2M is expected to grow during this timeframe. According to the firm’s research, automotive telematics and smart energy will lead the charge.
This rings true for the connected-vehicle market, which is already poised for growth in 2012 after moves from automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, www.mbusa.com, which has announced new in-dash apps and remote services for its mbrace system; Audi, www.audi.com, which partnered with T-Mobile, www.t-mobile.com, to deliver safer, more intuitive in-vehicle technology via Audi connect; and Cadillac, www.cadillac.com, which showed off its user-friendly CUE system at CES earlier this month.
Meanwhile, the smart-energy space, with the increasing adoption of smart meters and other M2M-enabled energy-management systems, is expected to represent more than $7.5 billion of revenue in 2016, according to ABI.
Companies such as Itron, www.itron.com and Silver Spring Networks, www.silverspringnet.com, have been making more announcements around the idea of working to optimize service delivery, reliability, and efficiencies of the smart grid. For instance, Itron’s AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) solution allows utilities to wirelessly collect data from smart meters.
While we’ve heard these verticals touted in the past as major growth contenders in the M2M space, ABI seems to think the next five years will be the time for automotive telematics and the smart grid to shine. The Jan/Feb issue of Connected World magazine takes on the connected-car market in depth. Pick up a copy to learn more.