As crucial as many believe Internet of Things (Iot) to be for future communications service provider revenues (the successor to growth driven by mobility, or mobile data), present revenue contributions are quite modest, as you would expect from a new set of industries at an early stage.
Currently, revenue from IoT accounts for less than one percent of most operators’ total revenue, according to Analysys Mason. It will take until 2025 for IoT to exceed five percent of operators’ total revenue, if 20 percent annual increases continue.
At least for the moment, a significant number of rival IoT communications platforms will be pushed, ranging from narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) to unlicensed LPWA and LTE-M, depending on geography. NB-IoT will be used outside North America, while LTE-M is likely to be the contender in North America.
LoRa will be introduced across many geographies, including the United States, as Comcast supports LoRa. The advantage there is that LoRa networks can be built using unlicensed spectrum, so has business model advantages for fixed network operators.
Low power wide area (LPWA) networks are expected to generate $23 Billion in service revenue by 2020, according to ReportsnReports.
By 2020, low power wide area IoT networks will represent about 65 percent of all IoT device connections, with roughly 35 percent of all LPWA profile IoT devices will be served by NB-IoT, LTE Cat-M1 and EC-GSM-IoT networks, according to ReportsnReports.
With the recent completion of the NB-IoT, LTE Cat-M1 and EC-GSM-IoT standards by the 3GPP, mobile operators are aggressively investing in software upgrades to build their own carrier-grade LPWA networks.
In the fourth quarter of 2016,, ReportsnReports estimates the cost of a typical LPWA module to be $4-18. As Low Power Wide Area network deployments mature, the researchers expect the cost per module could drop as low as $1 to $2 in volume quantities.