mHealth, smart metering and telematics are expected to lead this exponential growth; and a combination of factors including: global connectivity platforms, efforts at standardisation, cloud computing and regulatory initiatives have been identified as primary contributors to an excess of 30% CAGR growth between now and 2020.

“We seem to have been at the cusp of an explosion in M2M for many years, without it being realised, but finally changes are happening that will enable the M2M market to show real growth over the forecast period," said Andrew Brown, director of M2M research at Strategy Analytics and author of the study. “Carrier’s development of global connectivity platforms, efforts to standardize the M2M service layer, such as the M2M initiative, and government regulation, will all help to realise the potential of the M2M market”.  

The report highlights mHealth as a key driver in the world’s developed and developing regions, through growth in both dedicated devices and mobile handsets.

Results just released from the world's largest telehealth trial rolled out in three regions of the UK to test the different impacts of telehealth and telecare have revealed that while the reduction in hospital admission costs is not significant, patients were “significantly less likely to die” within the 12 months than the control group, and hospital stays were measurably shorter. The UK’s Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) program involved a total of 6,191 patients and 238 GP practices; and monitored the progress of 3,230 people with diabetes, pulmonary disease or heart failure over the course of 12 months. Four more papers will be published later this year, focusing on patient quality of life and organizational factors, as well as costs.

The Strategy Analytics report also states that smart metering and telematics are gaining traction in markets such as China, where the “Internet of Things” has been highlighted as a key technology initiative.

According to a recent report by Pike Research , 'Smart Grid Deployment Tracker 1Q12', smart metering is also extending its presence in Japan with Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), stating that it will deploy 17 million devices by 2019 as part of an overall plan to cut some $1.3 billion in costs over the next ten years. This deployment follows from last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami which resulted in the now government owned TEPCO being ordered to pay billions in compensation to victims and reactor cleanup costs.

Strategy Analytics say M2M will also play a key role in smart cities, as increasing urbanisation sees major updates to infrastructure, providing a significant lift to smart energy, transportation and automation among others.