Analyst Berg Insight says 186 million machines will be connected to mobile networks by 2012.
According to Berg Insight research, the number of cellular network connections used for machine-to-machine (or telematics) communications will grow from 37.5 million in 2007 to 186 million connections by 2012.
GSM and legacy technologies currently dominate the market and accounted for 71% of the total number of active connections at the end of 2007.
CDMA (3G) was the second largest technology, with a strong foothold in North America and parts of Asia-Pacific. WCDMA - the 3G alternative for Europe and Japan - has so far primarily been adopted for machine-to-machine applications in Japan.
Elsewhere, adoption is held back by high component costs and limited network coverage, said Berg.
The research found that current machine-to-machine applications generally corresponded to between 1% and 3% of the reported number of mobile subscribers in developed markets. In Sweden and Finland the share is closer to 10% due to extensive use of GPRS for meter-reading applications.
Berg Insight forecasts that vehicle telematics applications will dominate the machine-to-machine cellular market in most parts of the world, and account for more than half of all network connections in 2012.