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What factors will drive growth in the M2M industry?

What factors will drive growth in the M2M industry?

3/10/2014

The machine-to-machine (M2M) wireless communications industry has the potential to provide myriad benefits for our future, and recent reports indicate that companies are eager to take advantage of this innovative technology. According to Berg Insight, the number of cellular M2M connections among retailers reached a worldwide total of 18.4 million last year. The report also predicted that that number will reach 33.3 million by 2018.

​The vehicle safety benefits of M2M
M2M will be an industry to look out for in upcoming years. In addition to its growth in the retail industry, M2M will also provide new opportunities to enhance drivers' safety. The U.S. Department of Transportation is currently drafting proposals to make vehicle-to-vehicle communication a requirement in the automotive industry, noted Zacks Equity Research. This could greatly reduce the number of car accidents in America. When vehicles are able to communicate through M2M technology, they could make quick, automatic decisions that would lead to safer roads. M2M may also mitigate traffic congestion and allow drivers to save money on fuel.

Point-of-sale terminals dominate the M2M market
According to Berg Insight, point-of-sale (POS) terminals are currently the largest device segment in the M2M market, accounting for nearly 90 percent of cellular M2M connections. Developers of POS terminals have leveraged wireless connectivity to improve the efficiency of payment systems.

Berg Insight noted that the POS terminals market has reached maturity, and most of its growth is now being driven by retailers in emerging markets that use electronic payments. The M2M market will experience expansion in areas where there is significant room for innovation, such as the development of wirelessly connected utility meters, consumer electronics and vending machines.  

​Where will M2M grow in the future?
M2M is only in its early stages of development in the vending machine market, but it could potentially become a core aspect of this industry's future. 

"Vending is the largest untapped market for wireless M2M in the retail industry," said Lars Kurkinen, senior analyst at Berg Insight. "Every vending machine will eventually be connected, but costs for the wireless M2M hardware and subscriptions still need to come down significantly before this vision becomes reality."

Currently, only 7.4 percent of the 6 million vending machines in North America are connected by M2M technology. However, Kurkinen suggested that the market is experiencing significant growth, which he predicted to result in an increase to 1.14 million M2M-enabled machines by 2018.

How can businesses maximize their M2M systems?
As innovations in device connectivity continue, businesses will increasingly rely on M2M technologies to facilitate their operations. Modems, routers, gateways and handheld devices allow companies to remain dynamic, responsive and productive.

Firms can secure their vital M2M ecosystems with ProtectCELL's M2M program. This plan provides unmatched protection and various service offerings. Whether your business is looking for turn-key sales, claims processing or fulfillment programs to support its M2M infrastructure, ProtectCELL can meet its needs. Each program can be customized to align with your firm's specific goals. M2M systems need to protect workplace devices in ways that mobile phone insurance can not, and ProtectCELL's program will allow them to do so.

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