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Predictions for the IoT
Investments in NB-IoT, LTE-M and new capabilities will prepare operators for an active 2018.
Jan 08, 2018—
Operator revenue and connection numbers for the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to grow—annual growth rates of around 20 percent are typical. However, the billion-dollar acquisitions or contract wins of previous years have been absent in 2017. That being said, telecoms operators have been building out IoT connectivity networks—narrowband (NB-IoT) and long-term evaluation (LTE-M), in particular—adding capabilities (such as application- and device-management platforms) and working with the broader ecosystem (including developers, cloud players and hardware vendors). All of this should set the market up for an active 2018. Here's what you can expect to see in the IoT space next year.Network Technologies
• Operators in China will continue to lead in NB-IoT in 2018.
China is the leading country for NB-IoT because all three Chinese mobile operators are building NB-IoT networks and government support for the technology is strong. We expect that lead to grow in 2018, and probably some large contract announcements (1 million connections or more). The United States will continue to be the leading country for LTE-M developments, thanks to AT&T's and Verizon's investments; large contract announcements are less likely, though.
• Operators will launch NB-IoT and LTE-M (not NB-IoT or LTE-M).
The telecoms industry will increase the pace of development of C-V2X technology. Much attention will be on the European Commission and whether it decides to mandate V2X. A decision either way could have a significant impact on the success of either the LTE-derived C-V2X technology or the 802.11p standard.
Vodafone launched its V by Vodafone campaign in 2017, but the four consumer IoT products come with a monthly EUR3–4 subscription fee, a big detractor for many potential customers. Amazon bundles the cost of connectivity into the upfront cost of the Kindle 3G, and we expect other consumer IoT device providers to follow Amazon's example in 2018.
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