Sierra Wireless and Cinterion outpace Chinese firms in M2M embedded cellular module market

The latest ABI Research M2M competitive assessment evaluated that Chinese module vendors rank 6 and 7 in a market where module pricing is expected to fall as much as 18% year-over-year through 2015. Many module vendors have turned to acquisition to improve their competitive positioning.

Dan Shey, M2M practice director, comments : “Chinese firms have shown to be formidable competitors in many electronics and mobile equipment markets. For example, Huawei has been number one in personal cellular modem shipments since 2007. In the M2M module market, Huawei only ranked number five in shipments and even lower in revenue rankings.”

But competing in the M2M embedded module market requires more than shipping lots of modules.

Since implementing an M2M communications program is complex, enterprises need help in module selection, app development, systems integration, professional services, and M2M middleware. In addition, given that modules embedded in machines and equipment need to last untouched ideally for 10 years or longer, enterprises seek module vendors that can provide platform and service assistance to ensure that their investment leads to a positive ROI for a decade or more.

Indeed, top ranked vendors such as Sierra Wireless and Cinterion not only offer modules but also provide application development services, and professional services backed by implementation experience across several verticals.

But should Chinese vendors be dismissed in this market? Says Shey, “Don’t count them out! Huawei for example went from a number 8 ranking to a number 1 ranking in 2 years in the personal cellular modem market. They have the resources to improve their competitiveness and market share if they choose.”

ABI Research’s ‘M2M Modules’ Competitive Assessment ranks vendors on the scale of implementation and innovation. Implementation covers important criteria of market share, geographic reach, and verticals supported. Innovation ranks vendors in several categories including breadth of M2M business, air interface standards supported, and supported leading edge features. It includes Research Reports, Market Data, Insights, and Competitive Assessments.

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