Connected Car is an Early Candidate for Mobile-Supported IoT or M2M Because Revenue Model is Clear

Sometimes the actual details of a product growth forecast are less important than the depiction of direction. That probably is true for any forecast of revenue potential for sensor-based applications of the "machine to mahcine" or "Internet of Things" sort.

Nor, at this point, do our efforts to define the difference between M2M and IoT so important. The direction is the main thing. The big take-away from a forecast produced by Telco 2.0 Research is the potential growth of connected sensors or other monitoring devices.

Connected things potentially will rapidly outstrip phones, PCs or tablets as devices using moible and other networks by about 2020, representing more than half of all connected devices by 2020. 

Virtually all forecasts show exponential Internet of Things growth from now to 2020, outstripping additions of mobile phone, connected PC or connected tablet accounts. 

What remains unclear is how revenue oppotunities might evolve, and which networks and service providers stand to benefit most. If most of the devices or sensors use Wi-Fi, incremental access revenue will be small to moderate.

If most of the devices or sensors rely on mobile connections, mobile service provider service revenues would get a big boost, albeit with per-sensor revenues far smaller than generated from phone connections. 

But it is hard to ignore the potential volume of new connected devices. What remains unclear the magnitude of the growth, as current IoT or M2M forecasts vary by an order of magnitude. 

The other issue is the fragmented nature of the "market," which might be said to consist of scores of potential markets, ranging from automotive to logisitics to health care to smart building apps, as well as security or logistics, for example. 

So far, utility apps have been in the forefront, in part because of government mandates. Right now, "connected car" is getting lots of attention. Among the reasons is the certainty that the connections will have to be provided by a mobile network of some kind, making the revenue opportunity clear for a mobile service provider. 

In other stationary apps, it isn't so clear that mobile networks are the only option, or the best option. 

source: Telco 2.0 Research 
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