Cellular IoT will be a $1.8 trillion revenue opportunity by 2026: GSMA

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Cellcos are set to benefit from an estimated $1.8 trillion IoT revenue opportunity by 2026, boosted by the early deployment of commercial low power wide area (LPWA) networks in licensed spectrum.

That’s according to the GSMA, citing new figures in the IoT Forecast Database Research published by analyst house Machina Research.

According to the GSMA, the new findings highlight the huge growth opportunities for mobile operators delivered through new cellular IoT (a.k.a. “Mobile IoT”) applications and services. To date, 12 mobile operators have launched 15 commercial Mobile IoT services using one of two 3GGP-standardized cellular-IoT technologies: LTE-M (AT&T, Telstra and Verizon) and NB-IoT (China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, LG Uplus, M1, Turkcell and Vodafone).

The new findings indicate 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 IoT networks are expected to have 862 million active connections by 2022 or 56% of all LPWA connections, according to Machina Research.

The GSMA Mobile IoT Initiative was created to help the industry deliver commercial LPWA solutions in licensed spectrum (as opposed to LPWA technologies such as Sigfox and LoRa, which use unlicensed ISM bands). The initiative is currently backed by 74 global mobile operators, device makers and chipset, module and infrastructure companies worldwide.

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