Global M2M/IoT Communications Markets: eSIM Adoption is Gathering Pace as the Standard Matures

The Global M2M/IoT Communications Market is the foremost source of information about cellular IoT and low power wireless networking in all regions and major M2M/IoT vertical markets. What are the latest trends and developments in cellular IoT, eSIM, satellite IoT and low-power wireless networking? esim standard

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Research and Markets report says that the global number of cellular IoT subscribers increased by 22 percent during 2021 to reach 2.1 billion. The major regional markets China, Western Europe, and North America grew similarly during the year as the world recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. By 2026, the report now projects that there will be 4.3 billion IoT devices connected to cellular networks worldwide.

The top ten mobile operators reported a combined active base of 1.8 billion cellular IoT connections at the end of 2021, accounting for 86 percent of total connections. China Mobile is the world’s largest provider of cellular IoT connectivity services with an estimated 801 million cellular IoT connections. China Unicom and China Telecom ranked second and third with 300 million and 297 million connections respectively.

Vodafone ranked first among the Western operators and fourth overall with 142 million connections, followed by AT&T with 95 million in fifth place. Deutsche Telekom and Verizon had in the range of 45-55 million cellular IoT connections each when counting T-Mobile USA’s customers as part of DT’s IoT subscriber base. Telefonica, KDDI, and Orange were the last players in the top ten with about 31 million, 23 million and 20 million connections respectively. The year-on-year growth rates for the largest operators were in the span of 0 – 41 percent.

IoT connectivity services account for around 1 percent of total revenues for most operator groups. The publisher’s analysis of the IoT business KPIs released by mobile operators in different parts of the world suggests that global IoT connectivity revenues increased by around 15 percent during 2020, while the monthly APRU dropped by 2 percent to € 0.38.


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