Sunday, 3 February 2008

Machine to machine technology

M2M technology is still emerging technology but what does the future hold ?

M2M is a very broad description of wirelessly connected telemetry technology, it includes anything from vehicle black box tracking systems all the way through to medical equipment, and uses wide area wireless technologies such as GPRS to near field technologies used in mobile payments. Today the majority of organisations will not be considering M2M deployment, unless they are either a transport, healthcare, security, utilities, or retail based business.

According to Berg Insight in 2006 there were 4.1 million wireless M2M units deployed in Europe, with this market set to grow to 24.6 million units by 2011. However the potential market size is huge, if you consider the number of devices that could potentially use this technology. Every car (250 Million in Europe), energy meter (354 million), security alarm system, POS terminals, household appliances and gaming machines, the total number of potential units is huge.

The majority of growth of M2M over the next 5 years will be in the established M2M technologies where cost of the device and the associated operating costs have an acceptable ROI model (vehicle tracking). The key benefits are the ability to use tracking technology to ensure duty of care and improve planning efficiencies through real-time location information. In the UK the Corporate Manslaughter Bill which becomes Law 6th April 2008, this could act as the catalyst for further growth in the vehicle and person tracking market as senior managers deploy this technology to assist in duty of care, safety on the roads and lone worker protection.

The area’s for significant growth such as energy meters, household appliances will not start to grow until new lower cost models are developed...

For example; an energy meter module must cost less than $25 and have an operating cost of around $2.50 per year and must have a low power consumption, such that batteries only require changing once every 5 years once this can be achieved the ROI models will stack up for mass adoption in energy utilities. Possibly the household appliances will be last to adopt

Compared to Mobile Internet and picture messaging M2M has kept a relatively low profile, and is simply down to the fact that this is still very much and emerging technology. The market potential for M2M is phenomenal because, if you think, the world population is 6.6 billion now and, if each individual has 10 machines, you are talking about 66 billion devices that could be mobilised. The key to the success of M2M will be the OEM's producing low cost units and the network operators developing new innovative telemetry tariffs that ensure low operating costs.

Once this happens then M2M will drive a “I want it now” culture, the immediacy of information and the market will be set to explode.

If you would like to know more about the current state of the Cellular M2M service provider markets. Please click on the link below to download a complimentary and well balanced report form Jasper Wireless.

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