US cellular IoT connections grow 21% year-on-year in H1 2018: Research
Total IoT connections in the US are expected to expand by 25% year-over-year in 2018
Internet of things cellular connections in the United States grew 21% year-over-year in the first half of 2018, according to a new study by Counterpoint Research.
The study forecasts that IoT cellular connection in the U.S. market will grow by 25% year-on-year by the end of 2018, mainly driven by the roll out of IoT low-power wireless access networks.
“Initially, the big U.S. operators such as Verizon and AT&T, opted for LTE-M as the primary cellular LPWA network as opposed to China, where NB-IoT was opted. However, in the beginning of 2018, U.S. operator T-Mobile went live with its NB-IoT network, prompting the competition to rethink their LPWA strategy and tilt towards NB-IoT adoption network alongside the complementary LTE-M network. This is great news for NB-IoT ecosystem to scale further and faster with world’s top operators and markets adopting this promising LPWA technology,” said Counterpoint research analyst Satyajit Sinha.
“From a technical perspective, there are major differences between LTE-M and NB-IoT, such as channel bandwidth, peak data rate and device power consumption. Moreover, LTE-M is more suitable for IoT applications which required relatively higher throughput and support voice as compare to NB-IoT. As a result, key use cases for LTE-M will include healthcare monitoring, asset tracking, pets and kids tracking applications,” Sinha added.
“Although NB-IoT has arrived late in U.S. as compared to China, in the case of 5G, U.S. operators are leading with respect to the testing and deployment schedule. As 5G will be crucial for some high bandwidth as well low latency applications such as autonomous cars, drones, HD intelligent surveillance cameras, Industrial IoT and so forth. 5G IoT cellular connections will contribute to 16% of [the U.S.’] IoT cellular connection by 2025,” said Counterpoint Research Director, Jeff Fieldhack.
In July, T-Mobile launched a nationwide IoT network using NB-IoT technology. At the time of the launch, the carrier said that its service was the first NB-IoT network in the U.S. and the first one in the world that leverages guard bands, which are narrow slices of unused spectrum meant to separate frequency ranges and prevent interference.
Verizon has said that it plans to launch an NB-IoT network by the end of this year; the operator already offers LTE-M services. AT&T also said that it plans to launch an NB-IoT network in the U.S. in early 2019 and Mexico in late 2019, to complement its existing LTE-M networks in those countries.