GSMA finds $1.8 trillion IoT revenue opportunity for mobile network operators

The GSMA has found that network operators are set to benefit from a $1.8 trillion revenue opportunity by 2026.

Figures from Machina Research, a London based analyst house, show that this revenue opportunity is bolstered by early deployment of commercial Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) in licensed spectrum. The research also forecasts that the Americas will account for an estimated $534 billion or approximately a third of the total revenue.

According to the report, in their report IoT Forecast Database Research, consumer demand for connected homes at $441 billion, consumer electronics for $376 billion and connected car technologies at $273 billion represent the biggest revenue opportunities for IoT. Connected energy it is set to reach roughly $128 billion by 2026, driven by local governments and consumers looking for smarter ways to manage utilities. Similarly, connected cities are set to reach $78 billion by the same year.

The findings highlight the growth opportunities for mobile operators through new mobile IoT applications and services. To date, 12 mobile operators have launched 15 commercial mobile IoT services, including AT&T, Telstra and Verizon, as well as China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, LG Uplus, M1, Turkcell and Vodafone.

Alex Sinclair, chief technology officer at GSMA, said: “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. 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.”

Through the use of NB-IoT and LTE-M technologies which utilise globally agreed 3GPP standards to scale the IoT, mobile operators are enhancing their networks. Mobile IoT networks are expected to have approximately 862 million active connections or 56 per cent of all LPWA connections by the year 2022. These new mobile IoT networks are designed to support mass-market IoT applications across a wide variety of platforms and users, such as: industrial asset tracking, safety monitoring, water and gas metering, smart grids, city parking, vending machines and city lighting, all requiring solutions that are low cost, use low data rates, require long battery lives and can operate in remote locations.