The mobile machine-to-machine (M2M) market is continuing to expand as businesses drive interconnectivity in segments such as automation, logistics, smart grids, health and security. As modules are able to increasingly deliver more complex data, M2M is being implemented on a wider scale, with innovation driven by corporate R&D units and start-ups in the space. As the market expands, business brokers will certainly find this a more fruitful sector, with global businesses looking to acquire small, pioneering firms able to deliver new technologies. We at Acuity see M2M as a vital component of future tech markets, having attended the well-respected TM Forum event Management World in May 2013, which in part focused on M2M solutions.
According to Infonetics Research, the global market for mobile M2M modules reached $1.4 billion in value in 2013, with sector revenues rising by 6% year-on-year compared to 2012. North America and Europe continue to be the main contributors to the segment, as businesses in these regions are able to implement more modern infrastructure at a wider and faster level. However, rapid economic growth and tremendous investments in technological advancements are expected to significantly increase the share contributed by Asia Pacific, especially from China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. By 2018, Asia Pacific is expected to represent around a third of total M2M module market revenues.
Several factors are helping propel market growth in M2M. One of these is the growth in segments where M2M are vital components, such as fleet management and connected cars. These markets are an essential driver behind M2M as opposed to traditional business lines. The fleet management market is growing at breakneck pace and is expected to increase from a value of $10.9 billion in 2013 to $30.4 billion by 2018.
Another factor behind the buoyant M2M market is the acceleration in the implementation, rollout and uptake of faster mobile broadband technology, specifically 3G and 4G LTE. As 4G bandwidth is faster and able to process much greater rates of information, M2M mobile becomes more appealing and efficient as a technology for businesses. In 2013, 2G remained the dominant data transfer method, due to its greater accessibility in rural areas and developing economies, which continues to hold back stronger expansion. The development of nationwide 4G networks across China and the EU should help spur an improved M2M environment.
The M2M sector is also set to be driven by the entry of major new operators. For example, mobile phone vendor BlackBerry stated in May 2014 that as part of its new project it will develop a secure public application platform powered by QNX technology and BlackBerry secure enterprise mobility management. Greater consolidation is also expected in this maturing market, which would drive activity for business transfer agents and corporate financiers.
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