Telematics Outshines Telemetry in North America

But unlike other mobile markets, coverage and roaming are significant challenges.

by / February 22, 2008 0
Super Bowl 2008 showcased not only athletic talent but also the growing presence of M2M (Machine-to-Machine) technology. Both the New York Giants and the New England Patriots employed cellular M2M and GPS systems in team vehicles, ensuring the wellbeing of all players and employees by tracking each vehicle's location and continuously updating the pertinent travel schedules.

M2M technology in this context enables a level of efficiency by surveying vehicle speed and global location, and projecting an estimated time of arrival. Similar uses for M2M technology can be found in industries that distribute goods en masse, and in companies that wish to oversee shipments of expensive items.

In traditional consumer/business voice and data services, coverage is not a significant issue; and roaming, while expensive, is often a rare occurrence. "In the M2M field, unlike other mobile markets, coverage and roaming are significant challenges," says ABI Research senior analyst Sam Lucero. "M2M application providers may deploy devices that are mobile over extremely large geographic areas, such as in long-haul trucking telematics in North America. Or, the application provider may deploy fixed devices over a large, even international geographic area."

ABI Research categorizes into four key models the essence of how M2M applications can be developed and brought to market:

1. Companies can develop an application in-house with or without the aid of consultants, such as IBM or SAIC.

2. Companies can enable an outside application provider that will supply a packaged application in the form of software and/or equipment.

3. Companies can utilize "solution providers" that supply both the packaged application and network connectivity.

4. Companies can turn directly to a communication provider who offers a packaged or custom-developed application, along with network connectivity.

In 2012, there will be strong overall growth in North American telematics (commercial, OEM, and aftermarket) revenue, reaching almost $1.5 billion. Telemetry (AMI, security, RMAC, vending), on the other hand, will accrue revenue of not quite $1.2 billion.

"Although the North American telematics market is more mature and saturated than other regions," concludes Lucero, "ABI Research anticipates solid growth, as other OEMs introduce competing services in the 2008 and 2009 timeframes and beyond."