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2014-12-18
Location platform revenues will grow to € 470 million worldwide in 2020
According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, the global market for mobile location platforms will show steady growth in the next few years. Total location platform revenues are expected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 11.5 percent between 2013 and 2020, reaching € 470 million at the end of the forecast period. Much of the growth is expected to come from the emerging commercial indoor location segment, while the market for location platforms deployed by mobile operators is maturing. Annual revenues for GMLC/SMLC and A-GNSS servers, passive location platforms, as well as middleware deployed by mobile operators are forecasted to grow from € 200 million in 2013 to € 300 million in 2020. “Mobile operators deploy new location platforms and upgrade existing systems mainly to comply with public safety and lawful intercept regulations that are gradually being introduced worldwide,” said André Malm, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. These platforms can also enable commercial location-based services (LBS). He adds that a growing number of mobile operators are also deploying passive location methods that enable mass location of handsets without overloading the network. Mobile operators are starting to explore opportunities to extract more value from location data gathered from their networks in areas such as network optimisation, customer experience management, mobile marketing and analytics. However, most consumer and enterprise LBS now use location data obtained directly from GPS or Wi-Fi in handsets and will therefore have a limited impact on location platform market growth. A broad set of actors are developing indoor location technologies that enable use-cases ranging from emergency call location to commercial applications like navigation, customer engagement and analytics. “The commercial indoor location market is still at a relatively early stage and has not yet reached mass adoption,” said Mr. Malm. “The market has suffered from a lack of cross-platform solutions and confusion among venue owners over which platforms and technologies to use”. Understanding of the value of indoor location and analytics services is now growing among retailers and venue owners, at the same time as uncertainty over which technologies to deploy decreases. “Remaining challenges to solve include how to motivate end-users to download the venue owner’s app, as well as how to bring customer value that encourages continued use of the app on a regular basis” concluded Mr Malm.

2014-12-17
Shipments of connected wearables will reach 168 million in 2019
According to a new report from the research firm Berg Insight, shipments of connected wearables reached 19.0 million in 2014, up from 5.9 million devices in the previous year. Growing at a compound annual growth rate of 54.7 percent, total shipments of smartwatches, smart glasses, fitness & activity trackers, people monitoring & safety devices and medical devices as well as other wearable devices are forecasted to reach 168.2 million units in 2019. Bluetooth will remain the primary connectivity option in the coming years, but nonetheless, a total of 16.6 million of the wearables shipments in 2019 are forecasted to incorporate embedded cellular connectivity, mainly in the smartwatch and people monitoring & safety categories. Fitness & activity trackers is the largest device category and shipments reached 13.0 million units in 2014. The market leading vendors Fitbit, Jawbone and Garmin have in the past year been joined by an abundance of companies including major players from the smartphone industry such as LG, Huawei, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony and Xiaomi which have released fitness & activity trackers. “This product category is now facing fierce competition from smartwatches that have activity tracking features. Decreasing prices and new form factors will still enable dedicated fitness & activity trackers to reach shipments of 42.0 million units in 2019”, said Johan Svanberg, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. A new breed of smartwatches became available in 2014 when high profile Android Wear smartwatches from Sony, LG, Motorola and Asus entered the market to compete with existing offerings from Pebble and Samsung. “Smartwatches are already the second largest category of connected wearables and sales will pick up considerably in 2015. The Apple Watch will enter the market and other major smartphone vendors will launch next generation Android Wear devices”, comments Mr. Svanberg. Traditional watch vendors will also enter the market in the coming years, both with smartwatches capable of running third party applications as well as traditionally styled watches with basic smartphone notification features. Improved devices available in different price segments will drive adoption in the next five years and smartwatches is predicted to become the largest device category by the end of the forecast period. Shipments of smart glasses have so far been very modest, but promising use cases in specific markets such as enterprise and medical as well as in niche segments of the consumer market will enable smart glasses to become the third largest category of connected wearables in the next five years. “The opportunities are plentiful – improved imaging capability together with hands-free operation, real-time communication and augmented reality functionality would for example make smart glasses a serious contender on the action camera market”, said Mr. Svanberg. Connected wearables such as cardiac rhythm management devices, ECG monitors, mobile Personal Emergency Response Systems (mPERS) and wearable computers are already common in the medical, people monitoring and enterprise segments. Furthermore, miniaturised electronics, low power wireless connectivity and cloud services have inspired a wide range of new connected wearables such as authentication and gestures wristbands, notification rings, smart motorcycle helmets and smart gloves. “Most of these products are still experimental, but in a few years’ time there will be many examples of new successful devices on the market”, concluded Mr. Svanberg.

2014-12-08
Berg Insight says 70 percent of Europe’s electricity customers will have smart meters by 2022
According to a new report from the research firm Berg Insight, 70 percent of electricity customers in Europe will have smart meters by 2022. At the end of 2014, there were 67.9 million smart electricity meters in the EU28+2 area, corresponding to a penetration rate of 24 percent. By 2022, the installed base is projected to reach 199.7 million units. The vast majority of Europe’s smart electricity meters are today deployed in Italy, Spain and the Nordic countries. Over the coming 6–8 years, nationwide rollouts are planned in a number of additional countries in Western Europe, including France, the UK, the Netherlands, Austria and Ireland. Moreover, Berg Insight expects a significant uptake in several countries in Eastern Europe such as Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Estonia. The outlook for Germany is however less optimistic as several regulatory and technical issues still need to be resolved. Berg Insight expects that the European smart electricity market will perform well in the coming years as a number of new and ongoing rollouts ramp up to full speed. During 2015, shipments of smart electricity meters are expected to grow by 30 percent to 8.4 million units, fuelled by new and expanded projects in France, the Netherlands and Norway. By 2017, Berg Insight also expects that the much delayed rollout in the UK will finally get up to speed. “Based on the current time plans and projections, the European smart meter market will peak at 25–30 million units per year in the early 2020s”, says Tobias Ryberg, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. “Besides greenfield deployments, we also expect to see next generation upgrades of the oldest existing systems in countries such as Italy“.

2014-12-04
Berg Insight says 40 percent of Europe’s gas customers will have smart meters by 2020
According to a new report from the research firm Berg Insight, 40 percent of all gas customers in Europe will have smart gas meters by 2020. At the end of 2014, there were 2.5 million smart gas meters in the EU28+2 area, corresponding to a penetration rate of around 2 percent. By 2020, the installed base is projected to reach 49.0 million units. The increase will mainly be driven by nationwide rollouts in France, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK. In early 2015, the Netherlands will become the first European country to reach 1 million units installed as the Dutch utilities start the mass-deployment of smart meters. At the end of the year, Berg Insight also expects that massive installations will get underway in Italy and France. Earlier this year, the French national gas distribution network operator GrDF placed orders for a total of 11 million smart gas meters that will be deployed until 2020. GrDF and several leading gas network operators in Italy intend to use 169 MHz radio technology as the communication platform for their solutions, while smart electricity meters will be used as local communication hubs in the UK and the Netherlands. While the smart gas meter rollouts are largely proceeding according to plan in the countries mentioned, the UK is facing a more difficult situation. Following the announcement that the country’s centralised data and communications system will not become operational before the end of 2016, Berg Insight expects that the mass-rollout of smart meters will not begin before 2017. As a consequence of the delay, the official target that the rollout should be completed by 2020 seems unattainable. “We are fully convinced that the UK smart metering project will eventually come to its conclusion, but the multitude of challenges arising from such a complex undertaking require considerable time to resolve” says Tobias Ryberg, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight and author of the report. “If there is one thing that can be learned from a decade of smart metering projects in Europe, it is that they get delayed.”

2014-11-17
Lone worker protection services forecasted to have 2.2 million users in Europe and North America by 2020
According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, the number of users of monitored lone worker protection services in Europe and North America is forecasted to grow from nearly 0.7 million in 2013 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19 percent to reach about 2.2 million in 2020. Lone worker protection services often rely on dedicated GPS location devices featuring alarm buttons and man down detection sensors. The monitoring services are in many cases provided by certified alarm receiving centres (ARCs). Major drivers on this market include occupational safety regulations, increasing employee insurance costs and a higher general awareness of the risks that lone workers face. Occupational safety regulations exist in most countries, especially in Europe. Several countries have also adopted regulations that specifically address the safety of lone workers. Notable examples include the UK, Canada, France and Germany. “The UK has emerged as the most advanced market for lone worker safety services thanks to the way in which the regulations are upheld in the country, the comparatively high awareness of such services among organisations and companies, as well as the availability of standards that apply to providers of lone worker safety services and devices” said André Malm, Senior Analyst at Berg Insight. Workforce management solutions that use dedicated wireless devices have been available for more than a decade. Standardised workforce management apps running on smartphones enable also small and medium sized companies without the resources to implement customized IT solutions to adopt mobile workforce management solutions. “The highest adoption of mobile workforce management can still be found in the construction, distribution and utilities industries and awareness is also growing in other sectors such as field services and real estate, as well as in public sectors like healthcare and social services,” said Mr. Malm. Berg Insight forecasts that the number of users of workforce management apps in Europe and North America will grow from nearly 1.0 million in 2013 to about 3.0 million at the end of 2020. Family locator services is the largest category of people monitoring and safety solutions in the consumer segment and aims to provide peace of mind for parents and children. These are today primarily handset-based, but there are also numerous dedicated cellular/GPS location solutions on the market, increasingly in the form of wearables such as wristwatches. “Dedicated location devices are mainly addressing niche segments such as monitoring of small children that cannot use handsets” continues Mr. Malm. Dedicated locator devices are also used to care for seniors, as well as people suffering from various medical conditions. Telecare systems allow seniors and people with cognitive disabilities to live independently in their homes for as long as possible. The next generation wearable telecare devices featuring cellular connectivity are now also available and are more suitable for elderly that live active lifestyles.

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