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Although the COVID-19 Pandemic Continues to Affect the IoT Market, Recovery in Anticipated, and the Number of Active Global Cellular IoT Connections is Expected to Reach 3.58 Billion by 2026
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Cellular IoT connectivity is a booming market. It is witnessing rapid growth as 2G and 3G connections are being replaced with 4G-LTE, 5G, and low-power connections. Typically, 4G-LTE and 5G connections are the major revenue generators for cellular network operators. In 2020, global connectivity revenue stood at $47.02 billion. Asia-Pacific accounted for $30.97 billion, with China being the largest market. The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the market in 2020, reducing previously anticipated growth rates. This trend is expected to continue in 2021. The global market growth rate for connectivity revenue fell from 42.4% in 2019 to 24.6% in 2020. While Asia-Pacific was not adversely impacted, growth in the others regions slowed down; however, these markets are likely to witness full recovery by 2022. The Asia-Pacific market will grow from $30.98 billion in 2020 to $264.91 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 43%. North America accounted for $8.15 billion in 2020, and this number will grow to $60.93 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 39.8%. Total cellular connectivity revenue will grow from $47.02 billion in 2020 to $380.97 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 41.7%.5G will have a major impact on cellular IoT adoption for mission-critical applications. High-speed broadband—starting with 3G and, later on, 4G—set the stage for IoT by delivering ubiquitous connectivity to devices. A 5G network will significantly improve the way IoT devices communicate with each other. High-bandwidth applications such as visual surveillance, robotics, and magnetic resonance imaging transmit tens of megabytes (MBs) of data per second. Numerous devices cause congestion and increase latency and reduce network and spectrum efficiency. 5G and new massive machine-type communication (mMTC) devices will address data capacity issues. These new devices do not consume as many resources and as much power or data and allow enterprises to focus their efforts on the implementation of digitalization strategies. The cost savings realized from the eventual last-mile convergence can be reallocated to create a seamless integration of systems and cloud migration.While IoT adoption is increasing across all verticals, some verticals prefer to use it more than others. Manufacturing sees the highest uptake as manufacturers are longstanding users of automation to improve productivity and drive sustainability. The emphasis on operational efficiency—more than customer experience—reflects the maturing technology engagement of business. Manufacturers look at IoT as a cost-efficiency driver; however, it has many other uses as well - it aids in employee retention, innovation, additional revenue generation, and customer satisfaction. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered enterprises' perception about the digital transformation. Capabilities such as remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, and automation seem much more relevant in the current environment, which demands social distancing and restricted movement. To automate manual processes, IoT providers must have a thorough understanding of the verticals they serve. This can be accomplished by defining verticals' focus or creating specialized technical sales teams for different verticals.Author: Dilip Sarangan
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