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Getting the IoT numbers under control: 10 million 5G connections by 2024


via Flickr © jdr3505 / Jim Rosebery (CC BY 2.0)

Remember those mind-boggling predictions for IoT (just all of IoT) that some analyst firms were making about four years ago? Billions of devices (give or take a billion or so) by….  about now.

Machina Research - always one of the more considered outfits - is taking what appears to be more nuanced  approach to the numbers game by predicting what it thinks the 5G numbers for IoT will look like by 2024 as we run up to the exaggeration-fest that is the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. If you’re going  - and even if you’re not - be prepared to ride the hype curve which will describe how 5G is poised to take over the world and provide all things to all applications, especially the IoT/M2M market.

Machina has put the 5G IoT into context. It predicts that there will be 10 million 5G IoT connections by 2024, representing about 0.5% of all cellular IoT connections. The 5G IoT connections will account for a quarter of all 5G connections.

With Japan and Korea leading the charge, embedded factory-fit connected cars will be the biggest IoT application, it projects. According to Machina, to kick off with 5G will be mostly about faster connectivity for PCs, tablets and handsets, rather than IoT.

So what about all the other IoT connections?

Those are already being made by (non-cellular, at this time) Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks. It says LPWA connections trebled during 2015 to reach 23.2 million, although because the rival vendors and service providers are reluctant to release figures (market is still forming and who wants to be the first to tell the world that their numbers are quite small?) it has been hard to tell.

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