Follow Us:

Chinese operators dominated cellular Internet of Things (IoT) connections globally: Report


With over 46 percent share, Chinese operators dominated the cellular Internet of Things (IoT) connection market globally in the third quarter last year, a new report said on Thursday.

The 4G LTE connections accounted for more than half of the cellular IoT connections, registering 84 percent (Year-on-Year) growth, said research from Counterpoint’s IoT (Internet of Things) service.

According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s IoT (Internet of Things) service, global IoT cellular connections grew 41 percent annually, having already crossed the half billion mark earlier in 2017.

China Mobile was the world’s leading operator in terms of IoT connections. However, outside China, Vodafone leads in IoT cellular connectivity globally.

“Cellular IoT acts as the backbone in driving secure connectivity for different devices to the Internet and across different verticals,” said research analyst Satyajit Sinha.

“Today, 4G LTE supports IoT with legacy 4G and LTE-Cat1 connections. The main application areas are for Energy Utilities and Remote Asset Monitoring. However, going forward most of these applications will be supported by cellular LPWA technologies like EC-GSM, LTE-M and NB-IoT, especially for low-power, low-data, battery-powered use-cases,” Sinha said.

According to Research Director Peter Richardson, IoT cellular connectivity has been modest so far. “But we expect the next half billion IoT cellular connections to be added by 2020,” he added.

Cellular IoT operators are well-positioned to become a single and preferred source for IoT solutions by bundling IoT devices, secure connectivity, platform and data management.

“While some operators might lead in offering end-to-end IoT solutions for specific verticals e.g. connected cars or asset tracking, for some verticals, operators will still depend on system integrators and other solution providers to help customers deploy the complete solution,” noted research director Neil Shah.

Asia grew 64.2 percent (YoY) and dominates cellular IoT connections with a 57.2 percent share. China is the major contributor with 81 per cent of Asian connections and grew 75 per cent (YoY).