GSMA announces US$1.8 Trillion IoT fund for MNOs

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Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are set to benefit from an estimated US$1.8 trillion Internet of Things (IoT) revenue opportunity by 2026 boosted by the early deployment of commercial Low Power Wide Area Networks in licensed spectrum.

According to new figures in the IoT Forecast Database Research published by analyst house Machina Research, the new findings highlight huge growth opportunities for mobile operators delivering services through new Mobile IoT applications.

To date, 12 mobile operators have launched 15 commercial Mobile IoT services, including AT&T, Telstra and Verizon (LTE-M), as well as China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, LG Uplus, M1, Turkcell and Vodafone (NB-IoT).2 The research also indicates that the Americas region will account for an estimated US$534billion, or approximately a third of the total revenue.

“There is a real sense of momentum behind Mobile IoT networks in licensed spectrum, with multiple commercial launches around the world, as well as the availability of hundreds of different applications and solutions, but there is still much to be done,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “Many operators are already reaping the benefits of deploying Mobile IoT and we encourage others to act now to capitalise on this clear market opportunity and further accelerate the development of the Internet of Things.”

The new findings highlight that consumer demand for connected home (US$441 billion), consumer electronics (US$376 billion) and connected car technologies (US$273 billion) represent the biggest revenue opportunities for IoT.

However, other areas such as connected energy look set to reach US$128 billion by 2026 as a result of local governments and consumers seeking smarter ways to manage utilities. Similarly, revenues from connected cities are forecast to reach US$78 billion by 2026.

Mobile operators are enhancing their licensed cellular networks with NB-IoT and LTE-M technologies which utilise globally agreed 3GPP standards to scale the IoT. Mobile IoT networks are expected to have 862 million active connections by 2022 or 56 per cent of all LPWA connections.

These new Mobile IoT networks are designed to support mass-market IoT applications across a wide variety of use cases, such as industrial asset tracking, safety monitoring, water and gas metering, smart grids, city parking, vending machines and city lighting, requiring solutions that are low cost, use low data rates, require long battery lives and can operate in remote locations.

Mobile IoT Momentum
The GSMA Mobile IoT Initiative was created to help the industry deliver commercial LPWA solutions in licensed spectrum. It is currently backed by 74 global mobile operators, device makers and chipset, module and infrastructure companies worldwide. In the space of a year, it has helped to establish market standards for LPWA, published by 3GPP, that will play a fundamental role in the growth, development and adoption of the technology as well as securely and cost effectively connect the billions of new devices making up the IoT.

Mobile IoT Innovators
The GSMA has also established the GSMA Mobile IoT Innovators project, which was designed to encourage the development of new LPWA solutions and now has over 650 members.

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