Having suffered from the economic downturn and falling module prices over the last two years, cellular M2M vendors should see positive growth this year, states ABI Research.
Fresh enthusiasm from mobile operators and the growing importance of 3G are already resulting in stronger performance for this year, leading to estimates from ABI that the market will be worth US$3.8 billion in 2015.
The company's practice director, Sam Lucero, said that in 2009 the cellular M2M module market grew somewhat in terms of unit shipment volume. "However, rapidly declining module prices meant that 2009 revenues were still below that of 2007. Despite its difficulties, nonetheless, this market is on an upward path."
ABI cautioned that average selling prices could come under pressure as a result of the increasing commoditisation of an already crowded market, which is being squeezed further by the entrance of new vendors, particularly from the Asia-Pacific region. "This means that even with continuing modest growth in shipments, 2010 revenue levels will remain lower than those of 2007," said ABI.
Evidence that the M2M market is maturing comes from the level of M&A activity. In 2009, Sierra Wireless acquired Wavecom, and more recently Gemalto acquired Cinterion, a move which, Lucero says, "is likely to lead to positive results for the company, provided that Gemalto focuses on differentiating the Cinterion market offer with an end-to-end platform."
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