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Asia Pacific to leapfrog to world first in M2M adoption: Vodafone

Caroline Ng | June 28, 2013
Half of businesses surveyed to embrace M2M by 2015, with manufacturing and consumer industries poised to reap most from growing demand for connected devices.

Asia Pacific is poised to overtake the Americas to nab the top spot in M2M (machine-to-machine) adoption by 2015, according to the latest report by Vodafone.

Sixty-two percent of companies in Asia Pacific will have adopted M2M over the next two years, outpacing 35 percent in the Americas.

M2M is the technology that connects isolated machines to the Internet.

The report has also found that half of all businesses worldwide would have embraced the technology in the same period, with smaller companies gaining traction most. Among which, the manufacturing and consumer industries are poised to reap most from the adoption.

Tipping point
Erik Brennis, director of M2M at Vodafone, said M2M will prove to be the real game-changer over the next two years. "Smaller companies will, for the first time, be able to reap the benefits of M2M. Asia Pacific will challenge the current established players," he said.

The M2M growth is spurred by falling costs of M2M hardware and the explosion in demand for connected devices, including e-readers, game consoles and smart TVs in the manufacturing sector.

To improve competitive advantage, companies are increasingly getting more innovative to out-compete low cost rivals. This includes automating processes to improve productivity, all leading to substantial cost savings.

Beyond bottom line improvements, businesses that have adopted M2M have also noticed ancillary benefits, including greater agility and better customer service.

"The impact of M2M on business efficiency can't be overstated, making it an essential ingredient for the future of most, if not all, industries. This means there is going to be a race to deploy to ensure competitive advantage," said Steve Hilton, principal analyst at Analysys Mason.

Despite the merits of M2M, many companies have reported the stigma of high expected costs and security concerns to be major barriers of entry.

The findings also identified that not all sectors are equally advanced in M2M adoption.

Currently, the automotive sector is leading at 19 percent due to the growth in connected cars, followed by energy and utilities (13 percent); transport and logistics (12 percent); manufacturing and consumer electronics (11 percent) and consumer goods and retail (10 percent).

But this is set to change as the manufacturing and consumer sectors will pioneer the trend with growing consumer demand for device connectivity.

The survey was conducted on 327 executives across five key industries - automotive, energy and utilities, retail, manufacturing, transport and logistics - in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas.


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