According to this article in yesterday's Total Telecom, almost one-third of the connections to Iridium Communications' satellites are M2M. To be exact 32% of its commercial connections were M2M and 21% of government (with government accounting for one-tenth of its subscriber base).
M2M offers satellite providers such as Iridium an opportunity to go beyond the satphone market where the opportunity was always limited (mostly to the CIA, oil workers and journalists). M2M connections are, by definition, remote. In some cases VERY remote. For this reason satellite has a big part to play. I've recently been looking at a number of sectors where satellite has a big opportunity including mining and transport.
One of the categories of connectivity that we cover in the Machina Research Connected Intelligence Reports is Satellite. We're currently in the process of pulling together the global figures for all the M2M sectors we've been forecasting. Once we've done that we will have a comprehensive view of where the satellite M2M market (as well as every other M2M market!) is heading. Don't worry, we'll be pushing it hard, so you're bound to hear about it.