SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–(Business Wire)–
In 2010, only about 40,000 4G machine-to-machine (M2M) cellular modules will
ship. All will be WiMAX-based. In contrast, ABI Research estimates that in 2015,
more than 12.6 million of the devices – including LTE-compatible models – will
Why would M2M communication, which usually involves relatively low data-rates,
migrate to 4G?
According to M2M practice director Sam Lucero, the key word is `usually`: “A few
M2M applications do require lots of bandwidth and high throughput, and it is
those applications – telematics (distributing multimedia content to vehicles)
fixed wireless terminals (distributing a broadband connection), and industrial
PDAs – that will benefit from 4G networks` capabilities.
There are also secondary applications that may benefit from WiMAX and LTE to
some extent, such as digital signage and video surveillance networks. WiMAX may
also be used for smart metering (AMI). The meters themselves don`t require much
bandwidth, but some other smart grid elements within the feeder distribution
network do. Many utilities, especially in North America, traditionally deploy
their own infrastructure: WiMAX is something they can do and control themselves.
What advantages do 4G networks offer for M2M? “4G offers several benefits for
M2M,” says Lucero. “The first, of course, is sheer bandwidth. 4G networks are
also more spectrally efficient than 3G. Finally, there is the question of
future-proofing: 4G networks are going to be around for quite a long time.”
On the other hand, there are some flies in this ointment. 4G modules cost more
because they contain more RF chains and larger processors. Price is also based
on demand, and many M2M applications do only require low data rates. “Low data
rate applications won`t migrate to 4G in the next five years,” says Lucero,
“though towards the end of the decade they may, as 3G networks start to wind
Network coverage issues will also inhibit uptake for some time, as 4G network
deployments start in urban areas and are gradually extended to rural regions.
ABI Research`s “M2M Market Forecasts” database
(http://www.abiresearch.com/research/1003362) tracks the M2M market on the basis
of wireless WAN embedded modules and product revenue, as well as wireless WAN
active connections and service revenue.
It is included in the M2M Research Service
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends
in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North
America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research`s worldwide team of experts advise
thousands of decision makers through 28 research and advisory services. Est.
1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.
Christine Gallen, +1-516-624-2542
Copyright Business Wire 2010