Global revenues from M2M services are set to more than double between 2012 and 2017, according to new research.

Infonetics’ latest M2M Connections and Services by Vertical report predicts that revenues will rise from just under €11 billion to €23 billion in 2017 as connections via cellular and other WAN wireless technologies are projected to nearly triple.

Personal area network (PAN) connections make up the vast majority of the nearly 1.4 billion M2M connections worldwide currently and Infonetics analyst Godfrey Chua said operators need to modify their strategies accordingly.

“What’s often overlooked about M2M is that it will be delivered to the world by way of a portfolio of access technologies,” commented Chua.

“Cellular networks represent the most meaningful revenue opportunity for operators, but by far the most popular way to connect to M2M services is via PAN wireless technologies, such as WiFi, Zigbee, Bluetooth, and IP500, which do not generate connection revenue.

“It’s critical that mobile operators incorporate a broader view of the various M2M access technologies into their M2M strategies.”

Last year, the automotive, transport, and logistics sector made up one-third of total M2M service revenue, while more than 16 percent of revenues came from M2M backhaul services.

North America and Europe are the “key centres” of M2M service growth, according to Infonetics, which said that the two regions account for 72 percent of the total market.

From an operator point of view, China Mobile overtook AT&T in M2M connections leadership last year, but the US-based operator remains the revenue leader due to higher ARPC (average revenue per connection).

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