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Vodafone Says M2M is Growing Very Fast

New "Barometer" Report of 600 Execs in 14 Countries Shows Dynamism

As Conference Chair of @ThingsExpo, I have the good fortune to get exposed to a lot of forward thinking and research about the IoT.

I just read an interesting report on the IoT from the UK's Vodafone. This telco giant—the world's second largest, its 400+ million subscribers sandwiched betweeo two Chinese Leviathans—stands to benefit immensely from th use of 4G communications and beyond as the IoT evolves globally.

The report equates the terms M2M with IoT for the most part, at one point conceding that perhaps M2M is the “plumbing” of the IoT.

Semantics aside, Vodafone's report shows an aggressively expanding Internet of Things. It also says the Americas are lagging in general, as fast-paced Asia and even sluggish Europe are marching inexorably to a future suffused with the IoT.

To wit, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East more than doubled its percentage of IoT adoption, from 12% to 27% over just the past year, according to the report. In contrast, Europe jumped from 11% to 21% and the Americas from 13% to 17%.

The report is based on interviews with more than 600 executives in 14 countries. In the Americas, those countries were the United States and Brazil. Europe's interviewees were in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain. The rest of the world included Turkey, South Africa, China, India, South Korea, Japan, and Australia.

Vodafone also found that an astounding 55% of the companies it surveyed are either already incoporating M2M or plan to do so in two years. It thus anticipates that more than half of companies will have an M2M project in place by 2016.

A Different View
One could no doubt create different sets of numbers by querying executives from a broader set of countries. Our research at the Tau Institute – which relies on overall statistics rather than pesonal interviews – finds that the United States lags many countries in the Americas, with Brazil lagging further. Including Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, and Uruguay, for example, would show a brighter picture.

The Vodafone survey did incorporate what we see as a more representative set of nations in the other two regions, although again, the inclusion of Baltic and Eastern European nations on the one hand, and Ghana, Senegal, and some East African nations on the other would show a different picture.

That said, the Vodafone survey concentrated on countries with large populations, for the most part, and seems to provide a credible way for technology companies, business executives, government and NGO leaders, and investors to view the IoT on a global basis.

The survey identified several key triggers for companies to move to an M2M project: cost savings via automation, the opportunity for innovation, process and productivity improvements, end-user demand, and declining costs of the technology involved.

Moving Fast
There is much more. It's called the Vodafone M2M Barometer Report 2014. It provides great food for thought, and to me, a sense of urgency. I am committed to the long-term with my IoT2040 thinking, but it's clear, whether this report is optimistic for the countries it surveyed as well as the world as a whole, that the IoT is upon us and growing dynamically.

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More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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