Friday 12 February 2010

M2M will become really big

It seems kind of odd to call a prediction that an industry segment will reach $18.9 billion an understatement, but in this case it may be so.

This week, Juniper Research pegged the mobile and embedded M2M industry at that amount worldwide by 2014. The press release says that consumer and commercial telematics – vehicle-bound M2M -- will represent more than a third of the total.

Nineteen billion dollars is a lot of money. But even that pot of gold pales in comparison to the promise of M2M. M2M covers smart grid, telematics and a mind-boggling number of other consumer and business services and applications. Indeed, the specter of M2M -- thousands of gadgets talking to millions of widgets -- is one of the reasons that Internet Protocol version 6 is being pushed so hard in some quarters.

Another example of the potential size of the market comes from Berg Insight. The firm says the European M2M module market will grow from 2.3 million last year to 22 million in 2014. Systems under surveillance – alarm systems and tracking devices watched from a monitoring center – will grow from 10 million to 34 million during the same period. The site goes into some detail on the composition of the market.

M2M provides a deeper look into smart meters, the element of the smart grid industry that has been around the longest. The story quotes ABI Research numbers that 76 million smart meters were deployed worldwide by the end of last year. That number will jump to 212 million by 2014. Lux Research, the story says, predicts that the value of the smart grid market overall will grow from $4.5 billion now to $15.8 billion in 2015. The advanced metering infrastructure and smart meters will represent more than $5 billion of that.

The only thing that is certain is that growth will be significant. The dangers of making precise predictions are evident in the recent findings: Juniper says that the mobile and embedded M2M market will reach $18.9 billion by 2014, while Lux says the smart grid market alone will finish 2015 only $3.1 billion short of that figure. One thing that these firms would agree on, however, is that this is a giant opportunity.

You can also read Juniper Research's paper, 'M2M ~ Rise of the Machines' here.

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