German computer expo CeBIT, believed to be the world’s largest at more than twice the size of CES in Vegas, reports that participation in its machine-to-machine (M2M) section will double in size next year, for the second year in a row. Announced during the holiday week, the news is a major indicator of the commercial expectations invested in the M2M paradigm. Will that participation double again the next year, bringing eight times as many M2M companies to CeBIT in 2013 as were there in 2010? That doesn’t seem like such a long shot.
CeBIT focused on the automotive, logistics, health care and energy sectors and on security concerns in the M2M market in its announcement. RCR Wireless News readers will be more interested in the wireless implications of this fast-growing market.
The sectors highlighted (health, energy, automotive, logistics) are no doubt going to be huge, but they are also the leading industries of the past century. The revolution in measurement that comes not from the devices but their connectivity will likely foster the rise of new industries that most of us can’t yet imagine. Who would have guessed 20 years ago that the world’s most valuable public company would be the maker of a handheld wireless media consumption device? Might something like autonomous flying robot construction and infrastructure maintenance top the charts some day?
The GSMA, parent organization of the giant Mobile World Congress event, estimated last month that M2M would see substantial growth in wireless revenue opportunity.
The GSMA report, which was conducted in partnership with Machina Research, claims that the growth in connected devices will result in an addressable revenue opportunity for mobile operators of nearly $1.2 trillion by 2020, a seven-fold increase compared with expected revenues in 2011. The report noted that operators can benefit from this opportunity by “addressing key areas of the value chain such as service provision and system integration, as well as collaborating more closely with vertical industry sectors to provide compelling new services to their customers.”
Billions of connected devices are expected to come online in the near future. The big story is more likely to be figuring out how to build the capacity needed to support that connectivity, not just the growth in devices alone.