M2M helps push SIM market up a notch

The industry body says its membership enjoyed a 6 per cent rise in global SIM unit shipments last year, with volumes rising from 4.4 billion in 2011 to 4.6 billion in 2012. It says the total available market has grown 9 per cent, expanding from 4.7 billion to 5.1 billion between 2011 and 2012 and the primary factor, in addition to the move to LTE, was some serious SIM-based M2M deployment.

In 2012, SIMalliance members reported a 42 per cent rise in shipments of soldered SIMs designed specifically for M2M applications (MFF2 form factor). This level of growth reflects the increased usage of M2M in specific sectors, such as the automotive and utilities industries; it doesn’t however take into account the increase of M2M deployments across devices using plug-in or micro SIMs, suggesting that the M2M market is potentially even bigger, says the alliance.

The data shows that NFC-enabled SIMs started shipping in volume throughout 2012 - global NFC shipments of 30 million represents an 87 per cent increase on 2011. The strongest NFC SIM markets were Japan/Korea (21 million) and Western Europe (6 million), it claims

Multi-device ownership appears to be driving growth in developed markets with additional smart devices, such as phones and tablets, pushing up demand for micro and nano SIMs. The advent of LTE launches and continued growth of NFC has also played a part.

North America has seen the highest regional growth rate at 32 per cent - the primary factor influencing growth in this market was the transition from CDMA to LTE SIM-based networks. Africa enjoyed growth of 20 per cent with 2012 shipments up to 499 million. Western Europe managed an 11 per cent rise in shipments to 375 million, largely resulting from a rash micro and nano SIMS shipments due to increased usage of smart connected devices.

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