With the number of IoT devices with 2G and 3G connectivity slowly declining globally, Massive IoT devices — Narrowband NB-IoT and Cat-M technologies — are expected to take the lead next year, according to Ericsson’s Mobility Report.
The number of Broadband IoT (4G/5G) devices already overtook 2G and 3G last year, connecting the largest share of all cellular IoT connected devices, accounting for 44 percent of all connections in 2021. Wide-area use cases for Broadband IoT require high throughput, low latency and large data volumes.
By the end of 2027, 40 percent of cellular IoT connections will be Broadband, with 4G connecting the majority. Meanwhile, the number of IoT devices connected by NB-IoT and Cat-M technologies is expected to overtake broadband IoT in 2027, making up 51 percent of all cellular IoT connections at that time.
“The growth of Massive IoT technologies is enhanced by a recently added network capability that enables Massive IoT co-existence with 4G and 5G in FDD bands, via spectrum sharing,” the Report reads.
The growth of Massive IoT can mean good things for use cases such as wearables (e-health); asset tracking (logistics); smart city/smart home, environmental monitoring and smart metering (smart building); and smart manufacturing (monitoring, tracking, digital twins), according to Ericsson.
Additionally, industrial automation will benefit from Massive IoT, The Robot Report says. In fact, OMRON and Nokia are collaborating to integrate 5G technology into Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) deployments. In March Nokia announced its intention to build, operate and maintain a 5G private wireless network at OMRON’s Automation Center Kusatsu, Japan.
“For industrial operations, 5G private wireless networks deliver the high bandwidth, reliable low-latency connectivity, and massive IoT capabilities to meet the needs of current and future AMR deployments,” The Robot Report reports. “5G is becoming mainstream for commercial use, and there are many options for integrating it into industrial environments.”
By J. Sharpe Smith, Inside Towers Technology Editor