M2M markets bounce back

M2M markets bounce back

ABI Research began tracking the cellular M2M module market in 2003, and shipments increased on average by more than 25% per year for five years, with growth peaking at 45% in 2007.

While the global economic collapse in 2008 put the brakes on double-digit growth rates, the M2M market managed 4% growth, although vendors' revenues actually dropped due to falling module prices.

According to ABI's research, after bottoming out in Q4 2008 and Q1 2009, the market has started to bounce back and is forecast to show modest growth for the year, with unit shipments around 16% higher than in 2008 and revenue up 10%.

Market drivers include telematics services and road safety regulations, both in the US and Europe, and ABI practice director Sam Lucero believes that although the US federal government's stimulus package for smart grid applications may also help, it won't deliver any kind of sea-change.

"More important than stimulus money is the fact that the federal government is getting much more actively involved in creating standards for the smart grid," says Lucero.

While recent conditions have seen some vendors exiting the market and consolidation elsewhere, the outlook is good for those who have made it through the tough times. Success in the cellular M2M module market, however, requires that some conditions be met.

"Cellular M2M module vendors need customers with access to credit," says Lucero. "They also need customers who recognise the operational efficiency benefits of remote monitoring and control."

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