The machine-to-machine (M2M) market is dominated by Telstra in Australia, but Vodafone is hoping to capitalise on the projected growth in the market outlined in a new survey by telecommunications analyst firm Ovum.
As Australia reaches maximum saturation for consumer mobile devices, with over one mobile subscription for every person in Australia, the mobile telecommunications companies are exploring growth opportunities in connected devices as part of the movement towards an "Internet of Things".
Vodafone as a global company already has 17.5 million M2M subscriptions across the globe, however in Australia the company trails behind the incumbent provider Telstra.
The M2M in Australia 2014-2019 report by Ovum, commissioned by Vodafone and released today, predicts that by 2019, Australia's M2M market in the enterprise space will be worth AU$530 million, as small businesses begin to take up M2M services, and larger companies move M2M out of research and into company-wide use.
"In the beginning, often large customers were interesting in M2M technology, but now, what we're seeing is small to medium-sized businesses are quicker to adopt this technology," Nicklas Ekarv, Vodafone Group's head of M2M in the Asia-Pacific told journalists in Sydney today.
"The biggest impacts of M2M technology is when you use the information you gain access to to change the way you do business."
According to research, the three largest users of M2M technology in that time will be in transport, manufacturing, and retail, with other rises expected to come in energy through the use of smart meters, as well as healthcare.
Business services, and education remain the lowest in terms of M2M uptake, according to the survey.
The biggest applications would be in the areas of security and safety — with M2M used to remotely control locks and doors — and asset management, with M2M used to track equipment and team deployment.
Ekarv said that close to 90 percent of businesses surveyed perceived that investment on M2M technology would have a return in two years.
"M2M is a good investment. That's what our customers and the companies we have surveyed are saying," he said.
Vodafone indicated today that it would be focusing on healthcare, utilities, and M2M technology in cars for its growth in the sector in Australia.