A recent Juniper Research study is forecasting the amount of data generated internationally by IoT devices would be 1100 petabytes by 2027 — an 1140% increase from current levels. Put another way, this amount of data is enough to stream 4K videos from platforms such as Netflix for 165 million hours.
The termination of 3G networks is driving this growth, according to the firm’s analysis. Thus, the demand for low-power cellular networks will increase as it is a lower-cost alternative to operator-led cellular networks, such as 4G and 5G. This is boosting the expansion of IoT roaming connections via their low-power, high-penetration coverage.
Outside their registered operator’s network, roaming IoT connections use wireless services and access connectivity from other cellular providers. According to the new study, roaming IoT connections from the US will generate 277 petabytes of data by 2027 — accounting for 26% of the global total.
Since AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon will shut down their 3G networks in 2022, roaming IoT connections will probably have to switch to low-power wide-area 4G or 5G networks. It all depends on the use case.
However, the researchers noted that only 2% of total IoT roaming connections will rely on 5G networks by 2027. The reasoning is due to most devices’ infrequent data transmission and low power consumption. According to the study, 5G connectivity will only benefit use cases that rely on low-latency and high-speed data downloads. Connected factories and autonomous vehicles are good examples of these use cases.
Scarlett Woodford, Research Author at Juniper Research, commented: “US operators must adopt the Billing & Charging Evolution protocol to accurately identify IoT traffic based on network technologies. Failure to do so will risk revenue leakage if lucrative 5G roaming IoT traffic is misidentified as lower-value connectivity.”
Another earlier study by Juniper Research found that the global cellular IoT market will reach $61 billion in 2026, up from $31 billion in 2022. The study showed that 5G and cellular LPWA (Low-power Wide Area) technologies would grow 95% in the next four years.
According to the report, 5G IoT services will generate $9 billion by 2026, a significant increase from 2021, when it was at $800 million. Simply put, 5G IoT will see an upsurge of 1000% in the next five years due to growing 5G coverage, for example. The report recommended that operators offer value-added services, such as edge computing and network slicing, to IoT users to make the most of the 5G adoption.
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