LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 NORTH AMERICA: M2M connections will account for at least 10 per cent of the global mobile market by 2020, according to a forecast from GSMA Intelligence.

The number of connections will be nearly one billion (974 million) of the 10 billion total mobile connections expected by the end of the period – if the market develops at its current trajectory.

M2M currently makes up about three per cent of global cellular connections.

But it was also noted that there are several factors which could stimulate further growth in the sector, which could mean there are as many as 2 billion cellular M2M connections by 2020.

Additional growth could be driven by the introduction of government policies aimed at encouraging deployments in sectors such as utitlities, smart cities, automotive and healthcare; reductions in M2M module costs; and the development of standardised APIs.

“To fully unlock the M2M market opportunity for both consumers and businesses, we need industry-wide collaboration to address the current fragmented marketplace and to drive economies of scale and global interoperability, which will benefit all players in the emerging M2M ecosystem,” said Hyunmi Yang, CSO at GSMA.

China and the US are already established as the biggest cellular M2M markets globally in terms of connections, and will continue to be so during the forecast period.

China’s largescale adoption has been attributed to significant investment by the government, underlining the important role of regulatory initiatives in stimulating M2M growth, GSMA Intelligence said.

For the US, growth is coming from early adopters in markets such as automotive, smart homes, and utilties in particular.