The combined 2007 U.S. market for cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) modules and service provider connections reached $1 billion in revenue and about 11 million units sold, according to The Yankee Group.
How large the market will grow is anyone’s guess, according to Marcus Torchia, senior analyst with The Yankee Group. Other groups’ predictions have spanned from single-digit billions to hundreds of billions in the 2020-2030 timeframe. Regardless, Yankee Group is now offering a beta version of an M2M index service to help track it. Users can create their own views and forecasts, search by application or technology and view hard data and definitions.
The index addresses asset management, building controls, health care, industrial systems, residential, security, transportation, utilities and vending systems. “The index was created to fill a gap for the folks who need to know market numbers and market activity. We see an opportunity to provide more accurate data on the M2M marketplace because there isn’t a lot out there,” Torchia said.
Open networks will help the market, but there are still obstacles, including security, subscriber churn from the cellular industry’s analog-to-digital conversion, marketplace fragmentation and hundreds of different systems and protocols. “The M2M community is finding that when they go out into the different vertical markets, they don’t know what the term M2M means,” Torchia said.
Yankee Group will update the index service in the second half of this year. “We’re just sort of scratching the surface,” Torchia added. “I think M2M is an opportunity that the communications industry needs to cultivate more than anything else.”