ABI Research Report – Tomorrow’s Smart Connected Products Require Smarter Connectivity Services Today

At the end of 2020, 6.6 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be connected and active worldwide; 840 million of them will use cellular networks, which is just under 8% of the total. At the end of 2014, there were 180 million cellular IoT devices active worldwide, and that number increased by over 4.5X in the 6 intervening years. In another 6 years’ time, we will witness a further near-7X growth in cellular IoT devices, bringing the global total to 5.7 billion. More smart devices are being deployed, and more types of device are becoming smart.

All IoT applications are variations of either asset tracking (i.e., “where is something?”) or condition-based monitoring (i.e., “how is something?”), in combination with use case-specific characteristics that distinguish them as markets in their own right. Applications can be thematically grouped by similarity and significance into: metering, tracking/location, smart home, monitoring, smart cities, and a long-tail selection of “others.” Monitoring has consistently accounted for between a third and a quarter of all cellular IoT connections, strongly driven by automotive applications that include: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) telematics, aftermarket telematics, and fleet management. Yet, this stalwart will account for less than 10% by 2026.

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