Mformation, August 2014

The Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) market is in a period of exponential growth. With its limitless possibilities, every vertical industry has plans to incorporate M2M in some way in the very near future. Cumulatively, this will equate to nearly $196 billion in revenue by the end of 2020, a 21% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next six years.

Not only will revenues increase, so will the number of sensors, equipment, appliances, computing devices, smartphones and other mobile devices available on the market. Berg Insights estimates there will be 185 million M2M cellular devices shipped in 2018, a 24% CAGR growth until then.

Each of these Things will connect to a network, transmitting data points between machines, applications and systems. In addition to the number of devices, the number of mobile customers worldwide is also expected to exceed 8 billion by the end of 2018, up from 6.6 billion in 2013.

As mobility usage becomes a ubiquitous part of life, consumers will expect their cellular and wireless networks will be equipped to handle the load and do so speedily.

That is the expectation, but are cellular carriers prepared?

According to research report by Cellwize, failure rates upwards of 30% are expected for M2M sessions due to a number of potential issues – lack of geographic coverage, blind spots, high potential for interference and others. Without the capacity to transmit data in real-time could have disastrous – and potentially life-threatening – consequences (consider those mobile devices used in healthcare or to manage fleet transportation).

If such issues are realized, the potential growth for M2M will be limited – or completely dismantled.

With their eyes on the future, many cellular carriers are making heavy investments to update their technology and infrastructure to address capacity issues. For example, Verizon recently launched XLTE, an upgraded LTE network, to 250 US cities and towns that will improve data speeds and reduce congestion on its networks. Similarly, AT&T has announced several initiatives that will expand and improve its network by using high frequency spectrum and carrier aggregation.

As demand for bandwidth grows so do customer expectations, cellular carriers will need to have the mechanisms in place to ensure their devices and services are always working optimally. This includes a mobile enablement platform that will effectively manage, maintain, leverage and maximize existing devices, services and network assets.

 

Image credit: By Jeremy Keith (Flickr: Device pile) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons; Source:http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-wireless-m2m-iot-bible-2014-2020-opportunities-challenges-strategies-industry-verticals-and-forecasts-2014-07-17, http://www.m2mplusforum.com/berginsights/, https://cellwize.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/White-Paper-C-SON-ESSENTIAL-FOR-M2M-IOT.pdf, http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2014/05/28/verizon-looks-to-solve-network-congestion-problems-improve-arpu-with-xlte-launch/