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Predictions for 2013: M2M Hype Meets Reality

Posted by Norman Miglietta on 01/03/2013

With many analysts predicting stellar numbers for M2M growth, it is easy to get carried away with its potential. Vertical M2M applications in telehealth and wireless payments continue to emerge at a record pace, while traditional telematics and fleet/asset tracking applications remain strong. These trends from 2012 will certainly carry over into 2013.

As for more specific predictions for M2M in 2013…

The term ‘Internet of Things’ will begin to fade, or at the very least morph into straight M2M descriptions. M2M is not a peer-to-peer service (yet) and the analogy is not a very good one.

Smart applications providers and enterprises will cut through the confused messages on technology and focus on delivering 3G-based solutions for longevity. We know AT&T is sun-setting its 2G network in the coming years and while there are emerging connectivity options for M2M, for North America, 3G seems like the logical bet at the moment due to device economics and network coverage.   

As mentioned above, the adoption needle will move rapidly in two segments: Healthcare and payment processing. Healthcare stakeholders understand how connected devices can improve both the economics and quality of care for patient monitoring including: sleep apnea, diabetes, blood pressure, heart function and other vital signs. Payment processing both in mobile wallet and fixed devices has reached critical acceptance.  Consumers can see examples abound of companies integrating cellular processing ubiquitously: in restaurants, among residential service personnel, in taxis and parking meters – even wireless cash registers.

Hardware and connectivity costs will continue to fall, helping drive new entrants into the market, from small business-focused applications to more complex M2M solutions for organizations with an international footprint.

Global connectivity will no longer be just a talking point. As enterprise M2M takes hold, the demand for truly ubiquitous global connectivity will become a reality for businesses wanting to benefit from M2M in more than just one region.  However, the promise of a single SIM solution for comprehensive global connectivity will not yet be achievable due to intricate, complex and often expensive roaming relationships amongst and across international carriers.

Tier 1 wireless carriers will continue to chase the growing number of data-hungry smart phone users. Still unclear on how to monetize their investments in the M2M market, tier 1 cellular carriers will continue to set their sights on selling data to consumers with smart phones, tablets and laptops.

While nothing here is a guarantee, you can feel pretty confident that, at least to some extent, these predictions will come to fruition in 2013. We’ll revisit these topics in 12 months and let you know how we did.

By Felix Chuang, Senior Product Manager

Felix Chuang is Senior Product Manager at KORE Telematics, an industry leader in the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) wireless market. He has more than fifteen years of experience in the Internet and wireless industries in a broad range of roles such as product management, business development, and operations.  He is currently focused on the KORE Global Connect product line, which provides a single SIM for M2M network service in 180+ countries and 230+ carriers.

He can be found on twitter at: @felixc and KORE Telematics can be found at: @koretelematics