Cellular IoT Connections to Reach 3.5 Billion by 2030

Cellular IoT Connections to Reach 3.5 Billion by 2030

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5G comprised less than 1% of IoT connections in 2020 but will rise to 40% of all the overall connections by 2030, according to Strategy Analytics. The majority of 5G connections will not be significant until 2026, with 4G remaining the dominant technology over the forecast period.

2020 witnessed slower than expected growth due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a slight increase in overall connections. Strategy Analytics expects similar connection growth rates in 2021, with the pandemic highlighting the need for investment in telehealth, especially remote patient monitoring, and diagnostics.

“The adoption of 5G will likely happen in different stages in the largest markets, with eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband) reaching mass adoption first, uRLLC (ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communication) gaining traction soon afterward, and mMTC (massive Machine Type Communication) showing the longest tail. Adoption will be determined not only by application needs, but by the availability of 5G chipsets, the speed and coverage of 5G network deployments, as well as the evolution of regulations. Even as 5G develops, 4G will continue to co-exist, provide extensive coverage at lower cost and remain very important in the IoT,” said Andrew Brown, executive director of enterprise and IoT research at Strategy Analytics.

“The tipping point for 5G in IoT occurs when support for mMTC, a price decline in hardware and widespread network coverage, sees NB IoT and Cat M folded into 5G standards and devices. For this reason, we think the pivot to 5G in IoT will be a gradual one, rather than a dramatic shift,” added David Kerr, senior vice president of the global wireless practice at Strategy Analytics.

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