From machine to machine: Five facts about connectivity

Reliable, large-scale communication networks are the basis of successful machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. All about M2M has compiled five interesting facts about connectivity.

1. Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) are growing more popular:


At first glance LPWAN wireless modules are far from impressive. Their data throughput, subject to application, is in the region of just a few hundred bits per second. For most sensor data, however, that is sufficient. The strong points of LPWAN wireless modules are in other areas. In open country they have a range of up to 40 km and they are capable of a ten-year battery life. Furthermore, they are relatively inexpensive. They are no substitute for other wireless technologies such as mobile networks, ZigBee, RFID, BlueTooth or WiFi, but they complement the existing range of choices and enable developers to gear products and solutions more closely to the application scenario.


The market researchers at Machina Research expect the number of LPWAN connections to increase to more than three billion by 2023. “[This] will be a remarkable feat for a set of technologies that did not even have a collective name until 2013,” said Chief Research Officer Jim Morrish in a Press release.




2. Automobile industry relies on mobile networks:


LPWANs are not suitable for every industry. Temperature, humidity and light sensors in a field can be connected via a wireless LPWA network to a central gateway and thereby linked to the Internet. A connected car, in contrast, needs a mobile wireless network connection. In the connected car several transmission technologies are used to communicate, for example, with other vehicles or construction sites. But to implement an automatic emergency call system or to relay vehicle data on the move every car needs a reliable connection to the mobile wireless network.


The experts at GSMA Intelligence expect mobile network operators to be involved in 81 percent of automatic applications. The corresponding figure in agriculture is a mere 17 percent.




3. Mobile wireless connections on the increase:


Countrywide network expansion, reliable availability and falling connection costs are making machine-to-machine communication via mobile networks increasingly attractive. Furthermore, in addition to ordinary data traffic manufacturers of connected products and solutions can send an automatic text or phone call to trigger human-machine interaction. Many mobile network operators can also comfortably manage SIM cards and connections via a Web portal.


According to forecasts by GSMA Intelligence the proportion of mobile network connections as a percentage of all M2M connections could increase from 7 percent in 2014 to 14 percent in 2020.




4. More and more connected devices:


The number of M2M connections via mobile wireless networks is set to increase in the years ahead in absolute as well as in percentage terms. That is clear from a simple glance at the motor vehicle market. In 2014 nearly 90 million cars and commercial vehicles were manufactured around the world – and numbers are on the increase. If all new vehicles that roll off the assembly line are connected cars, the number of M2M connections will rise accordingly – and rise steeply.


The market researchers at Machina Research expect the number of M2M connections via mobile networks around the world to increase from 250 million in 2014 to 2.3 billion in 2024.




5. Rising data volume via mobile wireless networks:


With more and more devices connected to the mobile wireless network, data volumes are also set to increase. Along with the rising number and heterogeneity of devices this growth is seen as the crucial challenge for the development and expansion of future mobile wireless networks. What that means in detail and which approaches to a solution exist are aspects we at All about M2M will be looking at in a future article.


Machina Research expects that from 2024 mobile wireless networks will be handling an annual 3.2 exabytes of M2M data. By comparison, the annual data volume is currently in the region of 0.2 exabytes, or 200 petabytes.

Tags: M2M , Machine-to-Machine , facts , research , mobile networks , LPWAN

Comments (1)

  1. Iot

    Jan 15, 2016 - 21:15


    LPWAN grows fast. Several companies now deploying LPWAN-networks.
    WAVIoT, Sigfox, RPMA, some companies using LoRa.

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