Annual sales of cellular IoT gateways spiral 18.5%; US vendors dominate forecast
Annual shipments of cellular IoT gateways will reach eight million in 2023, with compound growth (CAGR) of 18.5 per cent per annum in the intervening period, according to IoT analyst house Berg Insight. Global shipments stood at around 3.4 million units in 2018, worth approximately $921 million.
The forecast covers general-purpose cellular gateways, used to connect IoT devices to NB-IoT and LTE-M based IoT networks, as well as to standard cellular 2G, 3G, and 4G (LTE) networks. It also includes routers and modems enclosed in a chassis with at least one input/output port.
Trackers, sensors, and other IoT endpoints, which rely on gateways to connect to the internet, are not part of the count.
Sales of cellular IoT gateways and routers during the next five years will be dominated by North American vendors – most notably Cradlepoint, Cisco, Sierra Wireless, CalAmp and Digi International, which accounted for around 53 per cent of cellular IoT gateway and router sales by revenue in 2018, worth around $500 million in combined revenues.
Berg Insight also points to contributions from Multitech Systems, Systech and Encore Networks in the US, InHand Networks, Robustel and NetComm in Asia Pacific, and HMS Networks, Advantech B+B SmartWorx, Matrix Electrónica, NetModule, Eurotech, Westermo and Option in Europe.
It notes the European and Asia Pacific markets have a large number of small and mid sized players in the $3-$10 million revenue range. North American has a handful of major vendors, by contrast, because of higher barriers for device certification from carriers in the region.
Fredrik Stalbrand, senior analyst at Berg Insight, said: “North America experienced the fastest growth globally during 2018, driven by deployments in the public safety, transportation and retail sectors. The region has also been subject to significant merger and acquisition activity.”
The report highlights Lantronix’s purchase of Maestro Wireless Solutions in July 2019 and Digi International’s acquisition of Opengear in November 2019. In Europe, Westermo acquired Virtual Access in November 2019. “Further consolidation can be expected among IoT gateway vendors in 2019–2020,” he said.
Last month, Berg Insight said the 400 largest cellular IoT deployments account for 279 million units, and will jump by 18.5 per cent, in parallel with the growth in cellular IoT gateway shipments, to 652 million units by 2023.
These deployments cover all types of ‘vertical’ markets The company said the volume of IoT connections in these large cellular IoT projects corresponds to 23 per cent of the total number of cellular IoT connections worldwide at the end of 2018.