A recent research report on the global IoT market has analyzed the performance of China Mobile, Vodafone, Verizon, AT&T, among others.
China Mobile is leading the global IoT (Internet of Things) service market – ahead of Vodafone — in terms of subscriptions in Q3 2017.
China Mobile, which grew 21 percent to lead the global IoT market with 32 percent share, is in the process of rolling out NB-IoT connections to explore IoT opportunities.
China Mobile issued RFPs in August 2017 for two IoT projects committing $6 billion investment to achieve nation-wide NB-IoT commercialization by early 2018.
Vodafone, the second largest IoT operator, achieved 37 percent growth and 10.9 percent market share. Vodafone had launched NB-IoT in four countries including, The Netherlands, Ireland, Czech Republic and Spain. Vodafone added commercial NB-IoT networks in Turkey and Australia in early Q4 2017.
China Unicom achieved 39 percent growth and 9.4 percent share in the IoT space. China Unicom announced pre-commercialization of NB-IoT in May. Shanghai became the first trial city for its pre-commercial network. China Unicom is in the pre-commercial stage with no officially announced tariff plan. It will have pre-commercialization in 10 domestic cities by the end of 2018.
AT&T achieved 23 percent growth in IoT subscriptions and holds fourth spot with 6.4 percent share. AT&T’s LPWA IoT strategy currently is focusing on LTE-M, which the operator began rolling out in 2Q 2017 with initial applications being asset tracking (pallet tracking) and smart meters.
China Telecom’s IoT connections grew 17 percent and holds fifth place with 5 percent share. China Telecom completed network coverage of 800 million people under NB-IoT by the end of June 2017, and announced commercialization of NB-IoT in July.
Asia’s IoT market grew 64.2 percent and dominates cellular IoT connections with 57.2 percent share. China is the major contributor with 81 percent of Asian connections and grew 75 percent.
Japan’s IoT market grew 15 percent for 5 percent share within Asia.
South Koreas IoT market rose 25 percent for 2 percent share within Asia.
South Korea is ahead of Japan in terms of LPWA development.
SK Telecom, LG U+ and KT Corp commercialised their NB-IoT services in Q3 2017. KT commercialised LTE-M in 2Q2017. South Korean Operators are looking forward to driving their LPWA connections in 2018 with specific focus areas being agriculture and energy utilities.
Americas grew 20 percent and holds second position with a 19.6 percent share. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile account for 68 percent of the connections in the Americas region.
AT&T and Verizon have commercialised LTE-M networks in Q2 2017. AT&T and Verizon hold 72.5 percent of IoT cellular connections within the US.
Global IoT cellular connections grew 41 percent to the end of 3Q 2017.
4G LTE connections were accounting for more than half the cellular IoT connections and registering 84 percent growth. 4G LTE supports IoT with legacy 4G and LTE-Cat1 connections. The main application areas are for Energy Utilities and Remote Asset Monitoring.
“However, most of these applications will be supported by cellular LPWA technologies like EC-GSM, LTE-M and NB-IoT, especially for low-power, low-data, battery-powered use-cases. These cellular LPWA connections are in the early deployment or trial phase and amount to less than 1 percent of the total cellular IoT connections,” Satyajit Sinha, Counterpoint’s Research Analyst.
The dual-mode modules supporting both LTE-M and NB-IoT will drive LPWA connections. Vodafone Group will be able to accelerate the NB-IoT roll-outs across multiple countries, leveraging global scale to accelerate the cellular LPWA adoption internationally.