M2M is the new gold rush

Tony Jackson
Convergys
The growth spurt in the Asian telecom landscape has resulted in us seeing many related gold rushes over the years, including SMS, voice call revenues and now mobile broadband and LTE. With mobile technology increasingly considered a necessity rather than a nice-to-have for consumers, regional operators have ensured that they diversify their services to add new offerings and value to their subscriber base.
 
From games, photos, mobile internet to music streaming and downloads – the mobile phone has become the personal device of the 21st century. However, some of the gold rushes have not always worked out. Mobile TV is still in development, as well as mobile advertisement and location-based services not yet fully taking off in the region, even in more mature markets.
 
With consumer ARPUs in decline, operators are now feeling the pressure to diversify and use their technologies in innovative ways. But the new opportunity is already here – machine-to-machine (M2M) is the future revenue gold rush for the telecommunications industry.
 
We believe that M2M is already established, albeit in its infancy, and is gathering pace as we speak. Several service providers have already partnered with M2M specialists like Convergys to provide the infrastructure needed to connect a vast array of machines and automate data readings. For many other Asian operators looking to diversify the versatility of service offerings, the opportunity to use mobile technology for intelligent new services is there to take.
 
Experts within analyst houses are also predicting huge success for the M2M industry. Berg Insight forecasts that M2M mobile connections worldwide at the end will grow to 3.1% by 2014. Meanwhile, Juniper Research predicts that embedded mobile and M2M device revenues will rise to almost $19 billion globally.
 
Ovum also supports the view of rising popularity of M2M technology. With expectations of Asian operators cementing M2M strategies by the first half of 2011, this spells exciting revenue opportunities for the Asian telecommunications industry.

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