Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications is soaring at a rate of 30 per cent a year in volume terms, according to French market research firm Idate.
"The M2M market represented 175 million modules worldwide in 2013, generating €24.2bn (£20.1bn) in revenue, which translates to an annual growth rate of 31 per cent in volume and 11 per cent in revenue," according to an Idate research note.
"The bulk of revenue was generated by software and IT developments, which together accounted for two-thirds of total market value."
According to Idate, the market will continue to grow at around 30 per cent a year -- reaching 470 million modules -- until 2017 as more manufacturers seek new applications for the technology, contributing to the development of the so-called Internet of Things.
"A healthy growth rate has finally taken hold in this promising but until recently underperforming market," the research firm said.
"This performance is being spurred by increased use within the main areas of application (automotive, consumer electronics and utilities) and is expected to accelerate even further over the next five years as M2M spreads to other sectors of activity."
Europe would be the biggest market in terms of revenue, followed by North America, although the Asia-Pacific region could "continue to dominate" in volume terms, the research note said.
Late 2013 saw China become number one in terms of the number of M2M modules installed, with the US falling back to second position.
Automotive, consumer electronics, and utilities would be the key verticals, Idate indicated. However, app providers should be aware that M2M projects have a low, falling average revenue per user, a long life-span, and low churn rates.
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