IoT ‘to create 20% of telco revenue by 2025’, says Huawei

09 February 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


Telecoms operators will be making 20% of their total revenue from the internet of things (IoT) by 2025, believes Chinese equipment vendor Huawei.

The company said yesterday that operators’ revenue from IoT will grow to $38 billion in 2020 from 3.8 billion connections and $400 billion in 2025 from 33 billion connections.

“The growth phase of IoT has arrived,” said Fan Lifeng (Edward Fan), the company’s vice-president of marketing for its carrier business group. Last year telcos earned just 0.5% of their revenue from IoT, said Fan.

Fan, speaking at a briefing for analysts and media ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC), which takes place at the end of the month, did not break down revenue into mobile operators and fixed carriers, the companies that will backhaul IoT traffic.

But his boss, Ding Yun (Ryan Ding), president of Huawei’s carrier business group, said the company is now working on IoT projects and services with 1,000 partners – a rise from 100 just a short time ago.

A list produced by Huawei includes companies from Honeywell and Philips to the Ofo bike-hire company. They are working in sectors such as water metering and farming.

The arrival of 5G in the next few years will help to drive IoT, said Ding, but will also push up other uses of mobile. By 2025 there will be 40 billion connected devices that will generate 180 billion terabytes of data.

By 2025 “85% of enterprise applications will be deployed in the cloud” and homes and businesses will need better fixed and mobile connections, he said.

“There are still 870 million people who are unconnected,” he added, highlighting one of the company’s main focuses for the next few years. It has launched a programme called Rural Star 2.0, which has already seen 20,000 new rural cellsites offering coverage to 80 million users, he said. “This is the biggest growth engine.”

Zhou Yuefeng (Peter Zhou), the company’s CMO for its wireless network products, noted that users are consuming more data – though few as much as in Kuwait, where the average consumption is now 70GB per month. By 2025, there will be 2.5 billion people consuming more than 1GB a month, Zhou forecast.