The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing worldwide thanks to expanding internet and wireless access, the introduction of wearable devices, the declining price of sensors and embedded computers, and the progress of storage technology and cloud computing, according to a new report by BCC Research. Already, the number of devices connected to the internet exceeds the number of people in the world, and by 2022 there will be an average of four connected devices per person globally.

The global market for IoT networking solutions is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.6% through 2022, when the market could be worth $1.0 trillion, according to the report Internet of Things (IoT) Networks: Technologies and Global Markets to 2022.

Growth rates are estimated to be roughly equal for the two network solutions types—short-range IoT wireless technology and long-range IoT wireless technology, although the short-range market far exceeds the long-range market in total size.

Leading companies in the industry mentioned in this report include Amtel, Ceva, Ericsson, Gainspan, Huawei Technologies, Intel, Mediatek, Nokia Networks, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Texas Instruments, U-Blox Holding and ZTE Corp, among others.

Research Highlights

  • The Asia-Pacific region generated about one-third of the global market revenue share in 2017 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 27.6% through 2022. Europe follows with a market share of 31.3% and a CAGR of 23.8% through the period.
  • Smart metering technologies using the IoT will grow at a CAGR of 19.4% through 2022, with the market being dominated by short-range IoT wireless products.
  • Short-range IoT wireless products will also dominate the agriculture sector, with a CAGR of 24.9% through 2022 and an estimated value of $20.7 billion.

“It is important to note that IoT access revenue might be smaller than many expect, in part because many of the connected sensors are going to use existing connections,” said Francesco Muratori, BCC Research analyst and report author. “That means network operators should move beyond only providing IoT access if IoT is to become a significant revenue contributor. They could consider some value-added services such as IoT application enablement, systems integration, hosting or security.”

A Prediction for the Future: Consolidation and Obsolescence

Currently, IoT connectivity is fragmented and challenging, with numerous players edging into the market while using unlicensed spectrum technology. The field should expect plenty of consolidation and even the elimination of certain technologies, and have the understanding that the industry is prone to changing mechanics. While currently fragmented and messy, the report adds, the IoT field will gradually become streamlined and more organized, and much of that will come as mobile companies edge into the market. Already, the IoT sector has begun to reduce its focus to specific low-power, wide-area wireless technologies.