A new study from Juniper Research has found that the global number of cellular M2M connections will reach 1.6 billion by 2024; rising from 596 million in 2019. This is a growth of 165% over the next five years.
The research group forecasts that remote provisioning and innovative anti-fraud measures enabled by embedded SIM technologies will drive adoption of cellular M2M services in key sectors including automotive, smart cities and connected agriculture. Embedded SIMs, or eSIMs, are hardware modules built directly into M2M devices.
Juniper found that adoption of eSIMs will grow 350% over the next 5 years; exceeding 1 billion eSIMs globally by 2024. It urged eSIM vendors to add modules that support emerging technologies, including 5G and low power M2M networks, as soon as possible to increase adoption.
“eSIMs will continue to be essential in accelerating the adoption of M2M services. Offering the eSIM standard across all cellular technologies will maximize the technology’s value across all M2M sectors,” says research author Elson Sutanto.
Juniper also found that 5G’s impact on the M2M market will be limited over the next 5 years. It forecast that only 15 million 5G connections will be in use by 2024, after initial commercial network launches this year. The research group anticipates that the automotive sector would be the primary industry adopter over the next five years; accounting for 70% of 5G M2M connections by 2024.
Juniper forecasts that the high cost of 5G and end users’ familiarity with established cellular networks will lead to initial hesitancy in adoption. In response, it urged M2M service providers to ensure that their services fully exploit the advanced capabilities of 5G technology, such as network slicing, in order to migrate users to 5G networks.