More than 60% of all IoT cellular module models are based on 4G technology


Image Source: The radware blog

According to a survey conducted by ABI Research, 4G is still the preferred mode of IoT connectivity. There hasn’t been a new dominant IoT connectivity standard introduced in the new year. ABI Research examined the activities of 1,037 IoT models from 52 module vendors and discovered that competing standards are still lagging behind 4G. Over 60% of cellular modules are 4G, which includes high-bandwidth CAT12 to CAT20 as well as high-bandwidth CAT1 to CAT4. Only 4.34 percent of the population uses 5G.

While global 2G and 3G networks are being phased out, 4G is unlikely to be threatened for some time. While 4G is still extensively available, 5G is still in its early stages. Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technologies are used in another 20% of the cataloged modules. In the LPWA arena, the dominant options are NB-IoT and LTE-M. “As these technologies find their feet within the IoT arena, module vendors will be producing more of both 5G and LPWA module types,” Sumnall adds. It should be highlighted, however, that any sluggishness in technological adoption is not due to a lack of module hardware availability.

For the mid-to-long-term futureproofing of IoT devices, 4G is projected to remain the networking technology of choice. Meanwhile, for applications such as smart street lighting, LPWA is expected to become the favored solution in the coming years. To date, China has accounted for the majority of LPWA module shipments.

Image Source: IoT world today

There are 1,037 IoT models available from 52 module providers. Despite the fact that 5G is not a new technology, there are only 45 catalogued 5G IoT module types. This isn’t surprising, given that 5G isn’t suitable for many IoT applications outside of the automotive domain and for fixed wireless terminals, and that 5G baseband modems were originally designed for the consumer mobile broadband market.

The most popular technology generation for module models is 4G, which is not surprising given that, unlike 2G and 3G, 4G is not threatened by network sunset. 60 percent of the module models catalogued are 4G, which includes both high-bandwidth (Cat.12 to Cat.20) and low-bandwidth (Cat.1 to Cat.4) variants. Furthermore, 4G is a globally available technology that is the current technology of choice for the mid-to-long-term future-proofing of IoT devices. Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technologies, such as NB-IoT and LTE-M, account for an additional 20% of the catalogued module variants. LPWA is still in its early phases of development, with the majority of module sales occurring in China and for NB-IoT.

These insights come from ABI Research’s market data research on IoT Cellular Module Model Tracker. The company’s IoT Hardware and Devices research service comprise written research, qualitative and quantitative data, and analyst insights. Market Data spreadsheets cover a wide range of topics, are finely subdivided, and include market share research as well as application and technology-specific projections to provide you a clear picture of where the best business prospects are.


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