The availability of wireless networks will be key for future development of Machine to Machine (M2M) connections in Latin America – and everywhere else. According to research done on behalf of 4G Americas by Machina Research, in 2014 there were 14.6 million M2M IoT (Internet of Things) connections in Latin America, but in a decade, that number is projected to mushroom to almost 160 million. Still, the growth will not be shared evenly across the region, as some countries have much more formidable technology infrastructures than others.
Behind Brasil & México, Costa Rica, Uruguay & Colombia are credible challengers in the IoT space, all having demonstrable home-grown world-class tech talent, and startup ecosystems that nurture innovation.
In 2014, Brasil had 6.7 million, or 45.8% of LatAm M2M connections, followed by México with 2.6 million, for another 17.6%. In 2024, Machina Research predicts that Brasil, with its mature manufacturing sector in complex items such as autos and aircraft, will continue to dominate the market.
“Communication between machines will be more and more common in a connected society. In the coming years, growth will continue in applications such as connected cars, but also we will see a surge in new uses for this technology. What is clear is that wireless networks will play a critical role in the development of this segment. For that, M2M and the IoT are central elements in the debate over new technologies that will define the future of the 5G (wireless network),” said José Otero, 4G America’s director for Latin America & The Caribbean.
4G Americas is an industry consortium set up between major industry players to collaborate and promote the adoption of LTE mobile wireless technologies, and to play a key role in the definition of the coming 5G wireless network environment in the Americas region.
Key 4G Americas Consortium Members:
- América Móvil
- Cable & Wireless
M2M applications have an enormous potential in those sectors that can benefit from mobility, such as automobiles, and the health/wellness segment. According to Machina Research, connected autos will make up the largest segment by volume; going from 8.5 million to 101.4 million connections in Latin America. The other sector which will see significant growth is the IoT for the workplace and daily life. With 2.5 million connections in 2014, this segment should see growth resulting in 35.3 million connections by 2024; resulting in a 17% market penetration.
In 2014, industrial IoT in Latin America meant 3.1 million M2M connections, 21.1% of the total LatAm M2M market. In 2024, predictions expect that to grow to 12 million.
Connections such as those for health, and connected cities taking advantage of–and making available Open Data will grow from less than half a million connections to 9.4 million connections by 2024 in Latin America.
While a few cities, likely tech hotspots such as Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Medellín will push the envelope, predictably, governments will lag behind enterprise. Connected cities only accounted for 125,000 connections in 2014, and by 2024 might make up 740,000 connections; constituting a tiny fraction of total connections. Even though the number of connections will certainly rise, Machina Research projections show that in terms of market percentage, connected cities will fall from 0.9% to 0.5% of total connections.