New GSMA report predicts Chinese IoT market will exceed one billion connections by 2020, underpinned by licensed low power, wide area market
Jun 29, 2016
Low power, wide area connections driving huge market growth in China; GSMA’s mobile IoT initiative helping mobile operators to accelerate commercial solutions
June 29, 2016, Shanghai: China’s machine-to-machine (M2M) market will reach one billion connections by 2020, with the majority coming from the developing Low Power, Wide Area (LPWA) market, according to a new report released today by GSMA Intelligence and The China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT). The report, ‘Mobile Operators and Digital Transformation’, highlights that China is currently the world’s largest M2M market with approximately 100 million cellular M2M connections, a figure that is expected to increase to 350 million by 2020. However, an additional 730 million connections will be enabled by LPWA technology, taking the total figure to just over one billion. By 2025, it is expected that 50 per cent of the world’s 28 billion connected devices will be suitable for connection by LPWA networks.
“With government support, China has quickly become the world’s largest M2M market, and LPWA will play a fundamental part of its future growth, presenting new opportunities for key industry sectors and for operators to provide connectivity across the country,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “The GSMA’s Mobile IoT Initiative is working with China’s mobile network operators to deliver commercial LPWA solutions in licensed spectrum to accelerate adoption and transform the development of the Internet of Things in areas such as agriculture, automotive and utilities.”
LPWA networks are designed for M2M applications that have low data rates, require long battery lives and operate unattended for long periods of time, often in remote locations. The GSMA Mobile IoT Initiative has coalesced the industry behind global technology standards in licensed spectrum for the LPWA market, which have now been published by 3GPP. Three complementary technologies – Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT), EC-GSM-IOT and LTE Machine Type Communication (LTE-MTC) – will cover all LPWA use cases, ensuring customer choice and helping the IoT market to flourish.
Licensed LPWA networks complement and extend conventional wide area networks, which make use of 2G and 4G cellular technologies, as well as local area networks such as WiFi, Bluetooth and Zigbee. These licensed standards allow operators to optimise their existing mobile network infrastructure through an upgrade to EC-GSM-IoT for 2G networks and LTE-MTC for LTE networks, while NB-IoT can use both 2G and 4G spectrum. Backed by 36 global mobile operators, device makers and chipset, module and infrastructure companies, the GSMA Mobile IoT initiative is working to accelerate the development of LPWA solutions and is supporting multiple global pilots with full commercial solutions expected in market later this year.
LPWA at Mobile World Congress Shanghai
There will a number of demonstrations of LPWA technology at the GSMA Innovation City at Mobile World Congress Shanghai, located in Hall N3 (Stands A38 and E37) at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. Visitors will be able to experience how LPWA networks in licenced spectrum are connecting up everything from pets to street lighting. It will be open during Mobile World Congress Shanghai exhibition hours from Wednesday, 29 June through Friday, 1 July. For more information, visit www.mwcshanghai.com/innovation-city/. The GSMA will also host an IoT Summit on Thursday, 30 June at The Kerry Hotel, Shanghai where delegates will hear from leading industry experts on the latest on Mobile IoT industry applications and technologies. For more information or to register, please visit www.gsma.com/connectedliving/events/.
Sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos, plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox.