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186 million machines will be connected to mobile networks in 2012

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According to new a research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, the number of cellular network connections used for machine to machine communication will grow from 37.5 million connections in 2007 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.9 percent to 186 million connections in 2012.

GSM and legacy technologies currently dominate the market and accounted for about 71 percent of the total number of active connections at the end of 2007. CDMA was the second largest technology with a strong foothold in North America and parts of Asia-Pacific. WCDMA has so far primarily been adopted for machine-to-machine applications in Japan. Elsewhere the adoption is held back by high component costs and limited network coverage.

Berg Insight has found that machine-to-machine applications today in general correspond to between 1-3 percent of the reported number of mobile subscribers in developed markets. In Sweden and Finland the share is closer to 10 percent due to extensive use of GPRS for meter reading applications.

However, Berg Insight forecasts that vehicle telematics applications will dominate the machine-to-machine cellular market in most parts of the world and account for more than half of all network connections in 2012.

"Safety and security concerns - manifested either in public regulations or customer preferences - is tipping the balance in favour of massive rollouts of telematics applications by the global automotive industry", says Tobias Ryberg, senior analyst, Berg Insight. "In North America, OnStar already gives peace of mind to millions of drivers. Europe is well on the way to introducing the eCall automatic emergency call system and several Latin American countries are considering mandatory tracking devices on all new cars to combat epidemic vehicle crime."

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Tags: wcdma  telematics  berg insight  gprs  machine-to-machine  emergency  onstar