Growing connectivity across industries demands open M2M platforms and services, says Frost & Sullivan

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London, UK – Machine-to-machine (M2M) software platforms and services, once deployed as proprietary technologies, are no longer sufficient in the growing market, according to analyst firm Frost & Sullivan. The increasing need for a rapid time-to-market for services in various industries has triggered the appearance of open, versatile, easy-to-use M2M platforms and services.

“As the number of interconnected devices increases, the sophistication of M2M applications will considerably augment,” says Mario Fernandez, Research Analyst for Frost & Sullivan ICT group. “The development of software platforms should keep pace with the changing needs of service providers and the security risks posed by an automated world.”

In its forthcoming report, Smart Card in the M2M Communications Market, Frost & Sullivan looks into the competitive landscape of M2M SIM card, module and platform vendors. A majority of market participants, with product portfolios covering all verticals, says the company, are expecting to witness high growth rates in each of them. However, some companies providing M2M hardware solutions are looking for strategies to enlarge their revenue streams. Services and software platforms appear as promising opportunities for generating revenue and creating added value for customers.

“The M2M communications market covers a plethora of verticals,” adds Fernandez.”We expect a continuous and healthy growth in the logistics sector for track & trace and fleet management applications. Given the low penetration of M2M applications in this sector so far, there is still a large space for growing. This is, however, a fragmented market, where low volume projects are yet predominant.”

M2M communications in the utilities sector is also expected to drive the market for M2M platform providers and module vendors. In advanced countries utility companies are upgrading and smartening their infrastructure to comply with government mandates, streamline their business processes and enhance the quality of services provided. In Europe alone, the installed base of smart meters is expected to surpass the 200 million mark by 2017. On the other hand, emerging countries see smart grid development as an opportunity for leapfrogging, improving service coverage and reducing theft.

“Software platforms play a key role in the development of the M2M market,” comments Mario Fernandez. “As the position of M2M platform providers and in-house platforms developed by mobile network operators (MNOs) strengthens, there will be space to create more advanced M2M applications with a global coverage. Along with market consolidation, there will be more and more Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and application providers tapping into opportunities provided by the M2M market.”

In order to wisely expand throughout the market, it is vital to understand who could be best project partners for hardware and software solutions, in terms of flexibility, scalability, interoperability, security, as well as geographical footprint and experience in the vertical business.

The upcoming Frost & Sullivan webinar, entitled M2M Communications Market: Strategic Analysis of Software Platform and Services, will discuss the market trends and the competitive landscape. The briefing is designed to benefit mobile operators, M2M applications and M2M software platform providers, and also M2M module vendors and service providers. The conference will take place on Wednesday, 28 September 2011, at 14.00 BST (UK). To attend the conference or to receive a link to the recording after the briefing please contact Joanna Lewandowska, Corporate Communications, at Joanna.lewandowska@frost.com with your full contact details.

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