23 operators launched 41 mobile IoT networks: GSMA

China Telecom IoT networkThere will be 3.1 billion cellular IoT connections, including 1.8 billion licensed LPWA connections by 2025, according to GSMA Intelligence forecasts.

Telecom industry association GSMA said 23 mobile operators have launched 41 Mobile IoT networks worldwide across both NB-IoT and LTE-M, said GSMA.

Juniper Research says the total number of connections leveraging an unlicenced spectrum to deliver low power M2M connectivity will approach 400 million by 2022. Connections using these technologies, such as Sigfox, LoRa and Ingenu, will rise from an estimated 50 million by the end of 2018.

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Connectivity providers offering low cost unlicenced alternatives to cellular technologies such as NB-IoT and LTE-M, will threaten operators’ return on investment. Service revenues from unlicenced low power connections will be 102 percent higher than those over their cellular counterparts by 2022.

Alex Sinclair, chief technology officer of GSMA, said: “Mobile IoT networks are becoming the defacto global IoT solution, as only licensed, managed mobile services can provide the secure low power connection that can meet future demand.”

GSMA said 34 IoT Labs are in operation for mobile operators, module vendors or application providers to develop LPWA devices and applications for different verticals. The Labs provide the opportunity to perform end-to-end and interoperability testing on the network.

AT&T, a leading telecom operator in the U.S., became the latest operator to participate in the IoT Labs initiative, with the support of three AT&T Foundry locations in Atlanta, Georgia and Plano and Houston, Texas, and the AT&T Device Radio Lab (DRL) in Austin, Texas.