Machine to Machine (M2M) - Strong Growth of Wireless M2M and Impact of RFID

Mobile Phone Carriers Slow to Seize Opportunity

The worldwide market for wireless machine-to-machine communications will grow from $24 billion in 2004 to an estimated $270 billion by 2010. "Go-To-Market" solutions built around single vendors, new players providing vertical packages, and the expanding and innovative deployments in the supply chain, retail, utilities, security and health customer sectors are the primary contributors to a forecasted 49% annual growth rate. These are some of the key findings from a new research report: "Machine to Machine (M2M) - Strong Growth of Wireless M2M and Impact of RFID," now available from Alexander Resources, a leading research, consulting and education firm specializing in wireless communications.

This new market report provides an in-depth analysis of the M2M market, focusing on cellular technologies and RFID in Western Europe and the United States, along with analysis of the leading players' strategies and developments taking place on the major vertical markets.

Additional conclusions from this report include:

  • The eventual use of RFID tags on a large number of business products, and even in retail (provided that information privacy measures are well in place), opens the way to a multitude of new M2M applications. Mobile phones, which can act in the future as RFID readers, are the focus of a great deal of attention for the role they can play in NFC solutions.
  • For the most part mobile phone carriers have only recently entered this market, and many different approaches are being taken. The most highly involved carriers are offering technological platforms (Orange) or vertical packages (BT, Vodafone…). Some, on the other hand, especially in the US, have confined operations to selling bandwidth either directly or via MVNOs.
  • The cautious approach to this market by mobile phone carriers has resulted in a lack of international coverage and insufficient quality of service. As a result, businesses have often turned to paging network operators (like Mobitex) or to MVNO/MVNE (Wyless, Wireless Maingate…) specialised in M2M, of which there are a growing number.
  • Like with any IT project, security issues are raising concerns, despite the number of technical solutions available.
  • The swift rate at which the various wireless technologies become obsolete is fuelling reticence in some industries that are ready to adopt M2M. The greatest difficulty lies in the complexity of M2M solutions and ecosystems.
  • Certain industries are designing their own innovative services, like the automotive insurance business's "pay as you drive" system, new vending machine systems and preventive maintenance solutions for office equipment.

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