Citing new research, the GSMA predicted the number of total connected devices will increase from around 9 billion today to more than 24 billion in 2020. Of those figures, mobile will account for around 6 billion this year and 12 billion in 2020.
Click here for the GSMA's forecasts.
And perhaps most importantly, GSMA said this represents an "addressable revenue opportunity" for mobile operators of nearly $1.2 trillion by 2020--more than seven times the revenues generated from connected devices this year.
"Everything that has current running through it will be connected," asserted Glenn Lurie, president of AT&T Mobility's (NYSE:T) emerging devices business. Lurie pointed to the carrier's support of devices like the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad and Amazon Kindle as examples. "We are just starting to learn how big this space will be."
The GSMA's figures were derived from Machina Research, a firm devoted specifically to the connected device space. The firm said that, by 2020, the industries that will have the greatest play in the connected space include the consumer electronics industry ($445 billion by 2020), the automotive sector ($202 billion) and the health sector ($69 billion).
However, the GSMA only announced it expects great growth in the area. The association said it isn't embarking on any specific standards efforts geared toward fostering the connected device space, and isn't organizing any module purchase programs among operators. However, Michael O'Hara, the GSMA's chief marketing officer, pointed to the association's announcement earlier this year of an embedded SIM program, whereby companies selling connected services will be able to remotely update embedded SIMs in order to switch among services from participating operators. He said embedded SIMs should hit the market next year.
- see this GSMA release
- see this AllThingsD article
Which road will the connected car take?
Carriers disagree over definition, metrics for embedded wireless
NPD: AT&T leads in tablets, Verizon Wireless leads in other connected devices
iPhones, LTE and connected devices drive carriers' Q2 results