I recently had a great conversation with the folks at M2Mapps.com and it made me realize that now is a great time to share some thoughts about the future of M2M. Overall, the M2M market remains strong and continues to exhibit positive growth as more industries take advantage of the ubiquitous coverage of today’s cellular connectivity.
CISCO recently predicted that M2M traffic will experience a 22-fold rise in the next four to five years, reaching 508,022 terabytes of monthly data traffic by 2016. The networking giant also claims that M2M will account for five percent of all cellular traffic by 2016, with the average module generating 266 megabytes of data every month (compared to 71 megabytes of data every month in 2011). We have taken a somewhat contrarian position previously about whether more connected devices will necessarily increase data usage, per device. So, while these potentially self-serving numbers may have most folks taking a skeptical look at the Cisco research, they’re still within the realm of possibility, depending on one’s view.
While the data traffic numbers above immediately push one’s thoughts to LTE, I remain skeptical that 4G is necessarily the right solution for broad M2M use, in the foreseeable future. We have touched on the 2G vs. 3G vs. 4G topic in previous posts, but as I see it, the cost and power requirements of LTE devices will likely designate this network to niche (and often fixed location) M2M applications, such as digital signage or video surveillance. Sure, high use applications are appearing but if anything are being more than offset by the tremendous volume growth of low-use, essentially ‘event-based’ applications. Key reasons beyond data costs are the realities that high volumes will demand low-processor, low-power compact solutions at the edge of networks. So, the average use may actually diminish, not increase!
Another change that is taking place is the emergence of money-making M2M applications. Innovative new applications are coming online daily, going beyond traditional operating efficiency improvements and generating real revenue. For instance, our partner Agnik is helping insurance carriers generate more revenue from their auto policies.
One of the biggest growth areas on M2M’s horizon is the enterprise market. With wireless contracts already in place for employees’ smartphones and laptops, enterprise organizations are becoming more aware of what this connectivity can do for the business at-large, from more efficient global supply chains to customer service differentiators that can help them grow the bottom line.
As M2M touches more lives, both businesses and consumers will help drive the emergence of new, innovative solutions. The byproduct of all this M2M awareness is a more educated customer. As a pioneer of M2M connectivity, KORE is looking forward to working with organizations that understand how M2M can align with specific business challenges and goals. We have always taken a great deal of pride in helping make these “M2M visions” a reality.
by Alex Brisbourne, President and COO
As the president and chief operating officer of KORE, Alex has over 20 years of experience in the networking and telecommunications industry, in Europe, North America and Asia. His expertise and areas of concentration center around wireless, enterprise and fixed line services. In his current role at KORE, he continually strives to improve company growth, by ensuring the M2M marketplace and KORE customers are well served by members of the KORE team worldwide.