Machine-to-machine services aren’t generating all that much revenue at the moment, in Europe, representing perhaps 4.2 percent of total revenue in 2011. Keep in mind that most observers consider “connected devices” such as tablets to be part of the M2M revenue stream. But revenue will grow significantly to more than 20 percent of total revenue by 2017, Frost & Sullivan predicts.

Consumer M2M applications tend to center on portable consumer electronics devices such as e-readers and digital connected photo frames (some include tablet devices). Enterprise applications in industries such as utilities, automotive, security, surveillance and healthcare might be the long term opportunities that ultimately become more important, though.

Though the per-unit revenue is lower than typically experienced for mobile phones or tablets, the volume of such sensors in use could be quite significant.

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