Mobile network operators are set to benefit from Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities that could worth US$1.8 trillion by 2026, of which connected home will represents the biggest revenue chunk, according to the GSMA, a trade group that represents the mobile operators worldwide.
Thanks to some early deployment of commercial Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN) in licensed spectrum, mobile operators could provide new IoT applications and services, the GSMA said.
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 Americas region will account for roughly US$534 billion, approximately a third of the total IoT revenues, according to the research.
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, Chief Technology Officer of 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 Internet of Things,” Sinclair added.
Consumer demand for connected home (US$441 billion) represents the biggest revenue opportunities, followed by consumer electronics (US$376 billion) and connected car technologies (US$273 billion).
Other areas such as connected energy look set to reach US$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 US$78 billion.
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 per cent of all LPWA connections. These new Mobile IoT networks are designed to support mass-market 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.