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3G wireless growing slowly in M2M market

May 22, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

3G wireless modules will capture only 30 percent of the M2M (machine-to-machine) communications market by 2012, a new report from ABI Research forecasts. The study predicts that 3G will only become the technology of choice when “bandwidth demands and economics” require it.

“Future-proofing,” the research firm says, will not play a major role over the next five years in 3G M2M market development. According to ABI, cellular M2M applications traditionally have not required high-speed connections; rather, cellular 2G technologies like GPRS and CDMA 1xRTT have been adequate.

In 2006, however, high-speed wireless M2M applications began appearing, creating a demand for 3G M2M technology, adds ABI. “Municipal Wi-Fi and WiMAX will both challenge 3G cellular technology as the most suitable methods to achieve high-speed M2M communications for many applications and in many locales,” says ABI Research analyst Sam Lucero.

High-speed wireless M2M will find its “natural uses” where the need for high bandwidth outweighs the added cost, ABI adds. Such uses are expected to include:

  • Fixed-wireless terminals that use cellular backhaul
  • Multimedia content delivery to point-of-sale terminals such as digital-marketing displays
  • High-speed vehicle electronics connectivity, including real-time navigation information
  • Remote information display, used, for example, in digital mobile advertising
  • Video surveillance, where wireless CCTV backhaul permits camera deployment without the need for cabled connections at each location

“WiMAX and (especially) municipal Wi-Fi offer attractive alternatives to CDMA 1xEV-DO or HSDPA 3G technologies for wide-area wireless M2M,” stated Lucero. “They are both more cost-effective and operationally efficient. With backing by Intel, as well as key carriers worldwide, WiMAX and municipal Wi-Fi will feature as important high-speed wireless M2M networks in the coming years.”

Further information regarding ABI's report, “3G Machine-To-Machine (M2M) Communications,” are available here. Pricing was not disclosed.

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