CAPE TOWN, South Africa, July 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Enterprises across a growing number of verticals in South Africa are turning to smart machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions to improve operational efficiency, optimise resources, and enhance customer experience. The ability of M2M solutions to automate processes, as well as boost visibility and control assets, enables mobile operators to improve profit margins by generating revenues from this segment. Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technologies are gaining prominence in a growing number of enterprises across different sectors in South Africa. Enterprises are using M2M solutions to improve their operational efficiency, optimise resourced and enhance their engagement with customers. M2M connectivity represents a growing opportunity for mobile operators to diversify their revenue streams.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, M2M Market Opportunities in South Africa—Vertical Focus, finds that automotive, retail and finance, utilities and vehicle fleet companies are currently among the most extensive users of M2M solutions in South Africa.
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"Agriculture, healthcare, security, and process-intensive sectors, like mining and manufacturing are expected to be some of the main adopters of M2M solutions in their operations," said Frost & Sullivan Information & Communication Technologies Research Analyst Lehlohonolo Mokenela. "Globally, operators have set-up spin-off companies to focus on providing M2M support, a trend that some of the larger local operators, Vodacom and MTN, are looking to follow."
Device manufacturers in South Africa, encouraged by the sturdy adoption rates and the proliferation of connected devices, have developed new M2M applications for the automotive, retail and finance verticals. These product innovations are encouraged by the growing availability of advanced networks. Mobile operators are now in a position to support data requirements from the growing number of connected broadband M2M devices. They are also able exploit opportunities arising from the high demand for analytics solutions among enterprises looking to make intelligent use of device and customer data.
While the infrastructure is in place, the lack of standardisation in devices and protocols is limiting the implementation of smart M2M solutions, particularly in the healthcare sector. This will undoubtedly slow down the development of the market; however, only until providers in the ecosystem collaborate to develop more common standards.
"Managed connectivity is likely to remain a core value proposition of the mobile operators as they own the networks, however, the long-term decline in data prices will drive down Average Revenue Per User M2M SIMs," noted Mokenela. "Mobile operators are looking to engage in vertical consolidation to strengthen their presence along the value chain and expand revenue sources beyond basic connectivity and more towards content-rich enterprise applications,"
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M2M Market Opportunities in South Africa—Vertical Focus is part of the Mobile & Wireless Communications (http://www.wireless.frost.com) Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related studies include: U.S Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications Market–Tier-I Mobile Operator Profiles and Analysis, Smart Cards in the M2M Communications Market, M2M–The Role of Telecoms Services Providers. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.