Is China going to become the number one M2M power?

A new report from Pyramid Research has detailed how China is set to overtake the United States as the world’s largest cellular machine to machine (M2M) market in the coming years.

The report, entitled “Cellular M2M Connections: An Analysis of Growth Drivers, Market Segments and Operator Approaches”, revealed that China’s overall M2M device volumes stand at 45m for 2013, rising to 138m total subscriptions by 2017 – 8.5% of all cellular subscriptions.

This has come about after the Chinese government highlighted M2M as a key area in its 2011-2015 development plan.

Pyramid cited two major Chinese operators and their M2M strategies:

  • China Mobile, which was a relatively early adopter investing in a platform providing centralised operational support for M2M in 2010, is currently working with governments to achieve ‘wireless cities’ and is the largest single M2M operator in terms of subscriptions
  • China Unicom, which had almost 220m subscriptions by mid 2012, has what Pyramid calls “a strong position” within M2M, in partnership with Telstra and Telefonica and focuses on utilities, smart homes and smart metering

This isn’t the only piece of M2M research released recently. The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), in its 2013 ICT Market Review & Forecast, predicted that M2M would “lead the way” in being the fastest growing telecoms sector in the US this year.

M2M was considered the big growth area alongside cloud computing and cybersecurity, and is expected to grow on average 57.2% through the next four years, with US telecom spending hitting $1.2tn (£793bn) by the end of the year, according to the TIA.

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that machine to machine has the potential to grow, and grow quickly. But which verticals are going to be the most lucrative?

Find out more about the issues surrounding M2M at Telecoms Tech World, on 4-5 June in London.

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