The global number of cellular M2M subscribers increased by 23 percent during 2015 to reach 265.2 million, an analyst firm has confirmed.
East Asia was the largest regional market with 90.4 million subscribers, followed by Western Europe and North America with 59.0 million and 52.5 million respectively.
Berg Insight claimed that the one billion subscriber milestone would be reached in 2022.
Over the next five years, it forecasts that the installed base of cellular M2M devices is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 22.9 percent.
The analyst firm also predicted that the new NB-IoT initiative would become successful in establishing a global standard for lightweight IoT communication on public networks in the next 3–5 years.
Telcos agreed on the standards earlier this month and the results are set to be published early next year.
The strengths and weaknesses of the various LPWAN tech, including NB-IoT, were discussed at the European Communications/Mobile Europe Internet of Things Conference in December.
Berg Insight also said that the cellular M2M market is starting to generate substantial revenues for operators.
It cited Verizon and Vodafone, who reported quarterly M2M/IoT revenues in the range of €150–200 million each in the first half of 2015.
They could be on track to reach €1 billion on an annual basis “within a few years’ time” Berg claimed.
It said “a considerable share” of current sales come from automotive products, driver assistance services and connected automotive applications.