Dec 14, 2016

Predicting the Growth of Cellular IoT

The IoT continues to grow at an ever-increasing rate. Although we are yet to reach the connected world predicted in the smart homes of Back to the Future II or the geo-marketing and autonomous cars of Minority Report; we are already witnessing the wide-scale adoption of connected devices for a range of industrial and consumer applications.

Ericsson’s latest Internet of Things Forecast predicts that we can expect around 400 million IoT devices with cellular connections by the end of 2016 alone, while some 70% of wide-area IoT devices will be utilizing cellular technology by 2022.

Looking at the breakdown of technologies powering IoT devices, LTE’s current share is modest – around five percent according to the Ericsson forecast. This is attributed to the legacy of high cost, excessive power consumption and complexity that has traditionally hampered the introduction of cellular modules. However, this is already beginning to change with the introduction of CAT-1 chipsets that have started (and will continue) to see modem costs drop as LTE functionality evolves to extend the range of applications for critical IoT deployments.

Furthermore, as the next generation of CAT-M1 and CAT-NB1 networks roll out, we will witness an even more dramatic increase in LTE adoption for IoT applications, as prices drop to be on a par with (if not lower than) short-range technologies.

That’s good news for the market – more efficient LTE solutions will be available to power the world’s IoT devices.  We at Altair are excited to be leading this change and collaborating with our global partners to advance the cellular IoT solutions of tomorrow.