IoT connections have become indispensable, revolutionizing our lives and paving the way for a more interconnected and convenient future. The recently released “State of IoT—Spring 2023” report by IoT Analytics reveals that in 2022, global IoT connections skyrocketed by a whopping 18%, reaching a staggering 14.3 billion active IoT endpoints.
Experts also foresee that by 2023, an additional 16% surge in the number of connected IoT devices to a remarkable 16 billion active endpoints worldwide. Fast forward to 2027, experts project that the number of IoT connections will surpass a whopping 29 billion!
3 leading IoT connectivity technologies make up nearly 80% of the market
IoT connectivity on a global scale is primarily driven by three dominant technologies: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular IoT.
Wi-Fi takes the lead, accounting for 31% of all IoT connections. In 2022, a significant majority of Wi-Fi-enabled devices shipped worldwide incorporated the latest Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E technologies, offering enhanced wireless connectivity in terms of speed and reliability.
The integration of these advancements has resulted in more efficient communication between IoT devices, ultimately translating into superior user experiences and overall performance. Notably, Wi-Fi technology’s influence on IoT connectivity extends to various sectors such as smart homes, buildings, and healthcare.
Bluetooth plays a significant role in the world of IoT, accounting for 27% of global connections. With the continuous development of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or Bluetooth Smart, IoT devices can maintain reliable connectivity while conserving power. This makes BLE the go-to choice for battery-powered devices like smart home sensors and asset trackers. Interestingly, the industrial sector is also showing a growing interest in IO-Link Wireless technology.
Cellular IoT, which encompasses various generations like 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, LTE-M, and NB-IoT, makes up nearly 20% of global IoT connections. According to the Global Cellular IoT Connectivity Tracker & Forecast (Q1/2023 Update) by IoT Analytics, global cellular IoT connections experienced an impressive 27% year-on-year growth in 2022, outpacing the overall growth rate of IoT connections.
IoT connectivity trends to watch out
While the overall IoT connectivity landscape may transform gradually, there are two noteworthy developments to watch out for:
- LPWAN technology convergence
In 2022, the LPWAN industry witnessed a significant shift towards convergence and co-existence of various LPWAN connectivity technologies. Acquisitions such as UnaBiz acquiring Sigfox and Semtech acquiring Sierra Wireless paved the way for companies to offer multi-connectivity by combining different LPWAN technologies.
UnaBiz, for instance, collaborated with industry players like The Things Industries, Actility, Soracom, and LORIOT to deploy any LPWAN technology on their software platform.
This shift from a single LPWAN technology perspective to a multi-connectivity solution approach indicates the industry’s evolution. This convergence has the potential to give rise to new multi-LPWAN connectivity modules, enabling end-to-end connectivity in sectors like logistics and mobility.
- LEO-based satellite IoT connectivity
LEO satellite connectivity for IoT is experiencing a surge in popularity due to its wide coverage, low latency, and high reliability. It finds utility in industries like agriculture, maritime, and logistics. With LEO satellites positioned closer to Earth than traditional satellites, data transmission becomes faster, enabling real-time data processing. This technology offers robust and consistent communication, even in challenging conditions or during natural disasters. Ongoing advancements in LEO-based IoT satellite connectivity further enhance performance and improve the overall user experience.
The IoT market is largely intact, with industrial IoT projects and Industry 4.0 initiatives driving the market. Major companies have announced discontinuations due to market dominance and lack of profitability. Money invested in IoT start-ups has decreased significantly, with 52 funding rounds totaling $840 million in the first quarter of 2023. However, despite the decrease in funding, IoT adoption continues to grow as companies recognize the value of connected devices and data analytics.
Image and source credits: IoT Analytics
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