SCOTTSDALE, USA: The Cellular Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication market has been a challenging place for cellular embedded module vendors over the past 18 months.
Year 2007 was this market’s last “good year”: 2008 saw both shipment volumes and revenue decrease. However unit shipment volume growth and the growing importance of 3G are already resulting in stronger performance and a new ABI Research study estimates that the market will be worth $3.8 billion in 2015.
According to ABI Research practice director Sam Lucero: “In 2009, the cellular M2M module market grew somewhat in terms of unit shipment volume, although rapidly declining module prices meant that 2009 revenue was still below that of 2007. Despite its difficulties, however, this market is on an upward path.”
These falling ASPs are the result of the increasing commoditization of an already crowded market, which is being squeezed further by the entrance of new vendors, particularly from the Asia-Pacific region. This means that even with continuing modest growth in shipments, 2010 revenue levels will remain lower than those of 2007.
The market is also showing some significant M&A activity. Last year, for example, Sierra Wireless acquired Wavecom; and more recently, Gemalto acquired Cinterion, a move which, Lucero says, “is likely to lead to positive results for the company, provided that Gemalto focuses on differentiating the Cinterion market offer with an end-to-end platform.”