Ericsson Mobility Report, which focused on 5G deployments and forecasts, said the cellular IoT connections will reach 3.5 billion in 2023, driven by China.
Ericsson said new IoT cellular technologies such as NB-IoT and Cat-M1 are fuelling this growth, giving service providers opportunities to improve efficiencies and enhance customer value.
Mobile operators have launched more than 60 cellular IoT networks using these technologies over the same underlying LTE network.
Meanwhile, Juniper Research in a separate report said that the number of connected IoT (Internet of Things) sensors and devices is set to exceed 50 billion by 2022 from an estimated 21 billion in 2018 — driven by edge computing services.
IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Bosch and Nokia are the leading IoT vendors, according to Juniper Research.
Juniper predicted that a substantial proportion of the estimated 46 billion industrial and enterprise devices connected in 2023 will rely on edge computing.
Research author Steffen Sorrell said: “IoT at the edge increases project scope and value. Work around standardisation, interoperability and how to manage the decentralisation of data processing remain in development.”
Ericsson said enterprises in North America will use IoT networks for logistics and fleet management. China will be using IoT networks for smart cities and smart agriculture.
North America is expected to lead the 5G uptake, with major U.S. operators such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint are planning to roll out 5G between late 2018 and mid-2019.
Close to 50 percent of mobile subscriptions in North America will be on 5G by 2023. Nearly 34 percent of mobile connections in North East Asia will be on 5G network by 2023.
Western Europe’s 21 percent mobile subscribers will be on 5G network.
Major 5G deployments will start in 2020, Ericsson forecasts.
There will be over 1 billion 5G subscriptions for mobile broadband in 2023, accounting for around 12 percent of all mobile subscriptions.
Mobile data traffic is estimated to surge by 8 times during the forecast period to reach close to 107 exabytes (EB) per month.
More than 20 percent of mobile data traffic is expected to be carried by 5G networks by 2023. This is 1.5 times more than the total 2G, 3G and 4G traffic today.
5G data-only devices are expected from the second half of 2018. Smartphones supporting 5G in the mid-bands are expected early next year. 5G smartphones that support high spectrum bands are expected in early to mid-2019.