Machine to Machine is moving up the ladder to 3G and 4G from legacy 2G networks. 

According to a report from research firm Berg Insight, 3G/4G technologies will dominate cellular M2M communications by 2018

The report estimates that the share of cellular M2M devices connected to HSPA/LTE networks is projected to more than double from less than 20 percent at the end of 2014 to more than 50 percent by 2018. 

When it comes to device shipments, 3G/4G is expected to overtake 2G already in 2017. HSPA will be the largest technology in an intermittent period until the current price gap to LTE has been closed.

Berg Insight says the move has been driven by the phase out of 2G services in some countries. The firm notes that here in the US, AT&T plans to shut down its 2G network have profoundly changed the M2M hardware market. 

Berg Insight expects that a majority of the M2M devices shipped in North America will use 3G technology already in 2014. 

Tobias Ryberg, senior analyst at Berg Insight and author of the report the automotive industry is also driving the move to 3G and 4G. 

"The automotive industry is getting very serious about realizing the vision of connected cars," Ryberg said, "which require mobile broadband connectivity. Early adopters such as GM and Audi recently introduced their first car models with embedded LTE in the US."