Discussion Papers

No. 455: Mobile M2M communication in Germany - future market development and numbering requirements (December 2019)

Authors: Christin Gries, Julian Knips, Christian Wernick

(full version only available in German)


The objective of the present discussion paper is to assess the development of cellular M2M communication in Germany. On this basis, it is examined whether our forecast indicates a need for adaptation of existing number regulations.

There is agreement that the M2M/IoT market will grow strongly in the coming years. At the same time, however, there are no dedicated forecasts relating to the development of mobile radio-based M2M communication.

In our forecast, we differentiate between three scenarios that differ in terms of supply, demand and the technological, regulatory and political framework conditions.

  • In the baseline scenario, which in our view is most likely, the number of SIM profiles used for M2M communication in Germany reaches 110 million in 2025 and increases to 223 million by 2030.
  • In a strong growth scenario, we expect 244 million SIM profiles for M2M communication in 2025 and 678 million SIM profiles for M2M communication in 2030.
  • If developments in relevant areas of influence are less favourable, we expect SIM profiles to increase to 61 million in 2025 and 87 million in 2030.

Despite the high growth rates for M2M in all three scenarios, we do not expect a shortage of the necessary IMSIs and mobile phone numbers. There are two reasons for this: First, the number resources in Germany are generously dimensioned. Second, the German mobile network operators use international and foreign numbers for M2M communication to a considerable extent and are likely to continue this practice in the future.

Since our forecast takes a very wide look into the future, there is a certain degree of uncertainty about the developments outlined. Against this background, we recommend that the forecast be carried out on a regular basis using a comparable methodology in order to be able to react to possible disruptive market developments at an early stage.

Diskussion Paper is available for download.

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