IoT Cellular Connections Continue Its Double-Digit Growth, Despite Global Uncertainties

IoT Cellular Connections Continue Its Double-Digit Growth, Despite Global Uncertainties

North America and Asia Pacific are Expected to Achieve the Highest CAGR.

Strategy Analytics latest report on IoT Cellular Connections forecasts a double-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% during 2022-2030.

According to Waseem Haider, Principal Analyst, Enterprise IoT at Strategy Analytics and author of the report “IoT Cellular Connections by Air Interface by Region: 2022-2030 Forecast Update”:
“the latest forecast update looks at the historical data as far as 2013 and forecasts IoT connections by Air Interface technology (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) and by region (Asia-Pacific, North America, Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe, Caribbean & Latin America and Middle East & Africa). Over the forecast period, North America and Asia-Pacific are expected to achieve the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16% and 14% respectively.”

Between 2022-2030, the mix by technology will change with 5G making strong in-roads replacing 4G connections, from 4G comprising 71% of connections in 2022, to only 49% in 2030. Although, we expect an y-o-y decline in IoT cellular connections in 2022 due to Covid-19 lockdown in China, chip shortage/supply chain disruption and geopolitical conflicts. The overall IoT cellular connections will grow at 14% throughout the forecast period.

The outlook for the IoT cellular connections is clear: 4G will continue to dominate overall, driven by 2G replacements, especially in China, but also elsewhere. 3G phases out with most connections moving to 4G. We expect 5G to reach 47% of the connections mix by 2030, while 4G will remain the dominant technology at 49%.

chart: IoT connections by region (Strategy Analytics)

Gina Luk, Director of Enterprise Research at Strategy Analytics, elaborated:

“The adoption of 5G will likely happen in different stages, with eMBB reaching mass adoption first, uRLLC gaining traction soon afterward, and mMTC showing the longest tail.”

“Adoption will be determined by the availability of 5G chipsets, the speed and coverage of 5G network, and as well as the evolution of regulations. The engine for driving 5G forward for fast growth and rapid adoption is its radio access technology, referred to as New Radio (NR). One recent example is NR support for reduced capability (RedCap) devices which can facilitate the expansion of the NR device ecosystem to cater to use cases include wearables (e.g., smart watches, wearable medical devices, AR/VR goggles, etc.), industrial sensors, and video surveillance, as these are not yet best served by the current NR specifications.”

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