It has been almost three decades since the first digital signage solutions were commercially launched.[1], yet still today only 6,400 of the 500,000 billboards in the US are digital.[2]

The reason is simple. The outdoor or mobile transmission of bandwidth-intensive content depends on high capacity cellular networks. Fixed networks were, until fairly recently, the only option for bandwidth-heavy applications such as video and graphics.

This is why indoor public spaces such as airports, train stations and retail environments adopted networked advertising faster than outdoor sites.[3]

With the expansion of 4G LTE network coverage we can expect to see rapid IoT connections and revenue growth in this market. The number of connected digital signage displays will hit 63.8 million in 2019[4]. And we can expect 4.6 million IoT connections to digital billboards, street furniture and point of transit alone, according to Machina Research.

Digital signage makes the most of advertising revenue by switching advertisements to suit different audiences at various times of day. Connected digital signs can interact through touch, predetermined triggers and via mobile devices; and audience demographics can be captured and analysed from a central location.

To sustain these benefits over the long-term, select a wireless M2M device that supports:

  • Global network certification. Public advertising is all about reaching the right audience at the right place, wherever that may be. Start local and expand into new regions, or connect a global fleet of digital signs.
  • Remote device management. Update content in near real time from any location and save time and costs by trouble shooting issues and updating software without dispatching an onsite technician to manually resolve the issues.
  • Outdoor and in-vehicle installations. Look for a device specially engineered to ensure that the electrical components operate at extreme temperatures, and be sure that the device has undergone extensive environmental testing under extreme conditions of temperature, shock and vibration.
  • Custom application development. Develop your own digital signage applications and adapt to varied M2M implementations using an intelligent M2M router that’s software expandable, offering an open embedded Linux Operating System and Software Development Kit (SDK).
  • Always-on connectivity. Keep signs connected with multi-system monitoring and automatic fall-back from 4G LTE to 3G or even 2G where available.

Whether the aim is to promote, inform or observe, it’s all about reaching the right audience at the right place and time using a wireless M2M device with the features and interfaces needed to connect and manage any digital sign, anywhere.

[1] Berg Insight. Digital Signage M2M and IoT Applications.

[2] Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

[3] Machina Research. Public Space Advertising: digital billboards generate heavy traffic and high ‘ARPU’ for MNOs Matt Arnott, Research Analyst and Matt Hatton, Director. 2016.

[4] Berg Insight. Digital Signage M2M and IoT Applications.