State of the IoT 2020

12 billion IoT connections, surpassing non-IoT for the first time.

Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the market for the Internet of Things continues to grow. In 2020, for the first time, there are more IoT connections (e.g., connected cars, smart home devices, connected industrial equipment) than there are non-IoT connections (smartphones, laptops, and computers).

Of the 21.7 billion active connected devices worldwide, 11.7 billion (or 54%) will be IoT device connections at the end of 2020. By 2025, it is expected that there will be more than 30 billion IoT connections, almost 4 IoT devices per person on average. 

Going forward, IoT devices are expected to continue to grow much faster than the quasi-saturated market of non-IoT devices. The current forecast is that there will be 30.9 billion connected IoT devices by 2025 further driven by new technology standards like 5G.

The Cellular IoT & LPWA market

Both cellular IoT (2G, 3G, 4G, and now also 5G) as well as LPWA (NB-IoT, LTE-M, Lora, Sigfox, and others) have been key drivers of the global IoT connectivity market in the past 5 years. The number of active cellular IoT and LPWA connections grew at an annual rate of 43% between 2010 and 2019 and is expected to grow at a rate of 27% going forward, according to IoT Analytics’ new Cellular IoT & LPWA connectivity market tracker.

Cellular IoT

China has moved to the forefront of cellular IoT connections. In the past 12 months, China Mobile increased its market share by more than 5 percentage points. US-based AT&T lost one percentage point and now sits at 4% global market share in 2020. 

LPWA market

The rise of low-power wide-area networks is one of the biggest and perhaps the most unexpected connectivity technology success story of the 2010 decade.

Some people believe that by 2030, the number of LPWA IoT connections could outnumber that of any other IoT connectivity technology.

IoT Analytics expects that those two technologies will continue to dominate the market in the coming 5 years, with Sigfox and LTE-M in distant third and fourth places, respectively.

While other technologies continue to exist, at this point it does not appear as though they would play a significant role in the overall global market.

If you’re interested in detailed information about the cellular Internet of Things and the LPWA connectivity market, go to https://iot-analytics.com/product/state-of-iot-q4-2020-outlook-2021/.

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