IoT connections increased by 22 per cent in 2021

Research from Berg Insight predicts more than four billion internet of things devices will be connected to cellular networks worldwide by 2026.

The number of global cellular internet of things (IoT) connections grew 22 per cent to reach 2.1 billion in 2021, according to IoT market research firm Berg Insight.

Analyst predicts there will be 4.3 billion IoT devices connected to cellular networks worldwide by 2026.

Pandemic recovery

Berg Insight reveals the major regional markets of China, Western Europe and North America grew similarly during the year as the world recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The top 10 mobile operators reported a combined active base of 1.8 billion cellular IoT connections at the end of 2021, accounting for 86 per cent 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.

Telefónica, KDDI and Orange were the remaining players in the top 10 with around 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 per cent.

IoT connectivity services account for around one per cent of total revenues for most operator groups.

Berg Insight’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 per cent during 2020, while the monthly average revenue per user (APRU) fell by two per cent to €0.38.

The shift to embedded sims, or esims, is currently one of the strongest trends within the IoT connectivity market. Automotive OEMs stand out as early adopters of the technology, which is experiencing broad uptake across a range of vertical markets. Leveraging the benefits of the two existing esims specifications – M2M and Consumer – GSMA’s new IoT specification is set to further accelerate uptake of the technology as it will eliminate the need for integrations between mobile operators and provide greater flexibility for IoT solution providers.

Berg Insight is a dedicated M2M/IoT market research firm based in Sweden.



Generated by Feedzy