$1.8 trillion IoT opportunity for mobile network operators


Mobile IoT Initiative supporting commercial LPWA network deployments

The GSMA today announced that mobile network operators are set to benefit from an estimated $1.8 trillion Internet of Things (IoT) revenue opportunity by 2026 boosted by the early deployment of commercial Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks in licensed spectrum, according to new figures in the IoT Forecast Database Research published by analyst house, Machina Research.

The new findings highlight the huge growth opportunities for mobile operators delivered through new mobile IoT applications and services. To date, 12 mobile operators have launched 15 commercial mobile IoT services, including AT&T, Telstra and Verizon (LTE-M), as well as China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, LG Uplus, M1, Turkcell and Vodafone (NB-IoT). The research also indicates that the Americas region will account for an estimated $534billion, or approximately a third of the total revenue.

“There is a real sense of momentum behind mobile IoT networks in licensed spectrum, with multiple commercial launches around the world, as well as the availability of hundreds of different applications and solutions, but there is still much to be done,” said Alex Sinclair, CTO, GSMA. “Many operators are already reaping the benefits of deploying mobile IoT and we encourage others to act now to capitalise on this clear market opportunity and further accelerate the development of the IoT.”

The new findings highlight that consumer demand for connected home ($441 billion), consumer electronics ($376 billion) and connected car technologies ($273 billion) represent the biggest revenue opportunities for IoT. However, other areas such as connected energy look set to reach $128 billion by 2026 as a result of local governments and consumers seeking smarter ways to manage utilities. Similarly, revenues from connected cities are forecast to reach $78 billion by 2026.

Mobile operators are enhancing their licensed cellular networks with NB-IoT and LTE-M technologies which utilise globally agreed 3GPP standards to scale the IoT. Mobile IoT networks are expected to have 862 million active connections by 2022 or 56% of all LPWA connections. These new mobile IoT networks are designed to support massmarket IoT applications across a wide variety of use cases, such as industrial asset tracking, safety monitoring, water and gas metering, smart grids, city parking, vending machines and city lighting, requiring solutions that are low cost, use low data rates, require long battery lives and can operate in remote locations.


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