1.3 billion cellular M2M connections to fuel competition

31 Jan 2018

A new report from Juniper Research predicts that the total number of cellular M2M connections will reach 1.3 billion by 2022, representing a 220% increase from an estimated 400 million in 2017.

The new research titled, M2M: Key Verticals, Technology Analysis & Forecasts 2018-2022, found that emerging cellular networks, including NB-IoT, LTE-M and 5G, will grow together to account for just under 10% of all cellular M2M connections by 2022. Operators are now racing to provide the underlying connectivity for the future high growth of connections, spurred on by the enabled emerging use cases.

“Edge computing will provide the necessary network capabilities for the provision of services. Decentralizing network functions by moving them to the edge will facilitate the ultra-low latency and faster processing power needed,” said research author Sam Barker.

Juniper noted that smart cities (66% CAGR), agriculture (37% CAGR) and smart metering (24% CAGR) are the fastest growing M2M sectors.

It found that smart city development will hugely benefit from LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) access technologies, forecasting that over 25% of cellular smart city devices and applications will operate over these networks by 2022. The low cost per connection of LPWA networks and a battery life of 10 years will become appealing for monitoring city operations including transport and public energy infrastructure.

The research found that 5G technology will be essential in handling the increasing data traffic generated from smart city devices. It found that services such as traffic information and citizen gateways will generate over 160 Petabytes of data traffic per annum in 2022; in comparison, connected cars will generate over 7,000 Petabytes of data. In response to this increase in cellular traffic, the report suggested that transforming network architecture would become key to delivering the level of smart city services that have come to be expected.

The Juniper whitepaper: M2M – The 3 Fastest Growing Sectors, predicts that by 2022, consumer telematics will continue to be the largest sector in the M2M market. Although past implementation of in-vehicle M2M services has, so far, been driven by entertainment and telematics services, in the future, new safety services such as V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) and DSRC (Direct Short Range Communication) will become the primary catalyst for adoption.

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