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Cellular IoT market to exceed $61bn globally by 2026, driven by 5G and low-power solutions

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The global value of the cellular IoT market will reach $61bn by 2026; rising from $31bn in 2022. It identified the growth of 5G and cellular LPWA (Low-power Wide Area) technologies as key to this 95% increase over the next four years.

The new study, Cellular IoT: Strategies, Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2022-2026, predicted that, LPWA solutions, such as NB-IoT and LTE-M, will be the fastest-growing cellular IoT technologies over the next four years.

It anticipates that the low cost of both connectivity and hardware will drive adoption for remote monitoring in key verticals, such as agriculture, smart cities and manufacturing. In turn, LPWA connections are expected to grow 1,200% over the next four years.

2G and 3G network shutdowns to drive LPWA

The report urged operators to migrate IoT connections on legacy networks to networks that support LPWA technologies. It anticipated that demand from enterprises for low-cost monitoring technologies, enabled by LPWA networks, will increase as these legacy networks are shut off over the next four years.

Research co-author Charles Bowman comments: “Operators must educate users on the suitability of LPWA as a replacement technology for legacy networks. However, many IoT networks cannot solely rely on LPWA technologies. More comprehensive technologies, such as 5G, must underpin IoT network architectures and work in tandem with LPWA technologies to maximise the value of IoT services.”

 5G to generate $9bn for the IoT market by 2026

Conversely, the report predicted that 5G IoT services will generate $9 billion of revenue by 2026; rising from $800 million in 2021. This represents a growth of 1,000% over the next five years as 5G coverage expands and operators benefit from the increased number of 5G IoT connections. To capitalise on this growth, it recommended operators offer value-added services, such as network slicing and edge computing, to IoT users to maximise the value of 5G adoption.

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