Editor's Pick 19-06-2024 12:05 18 Views

Omdia predicts NB-IoT and LoRaWAN to drive LPWAN connections beyond 3.5 billion by 2030

Omdia’s latest research has found that the Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) IoT connections landscape is overwhelmingly dominated by NB-IoT and LoRa, which together accounted for 87% of total connections in 2023.

This dominance is set to continue, with these two technologies projected to maintain 86% of all LPWAN connections by 2030.

While NB-IoT’s significant growth is driven by its popularity in China, LoRaWAN leads in most other regions. Both technologies are ideally suited for the mid-range IoT applications currently in demand, ensuring their sustained leadership in the LPWAN market. LoRa is expected to remain the preferred choice in private IoT connections, while NB-IoT will expand through cost-effective implementations, with both technologies poised for continued success through 2030.

Commenting on the growth of LPWAN connections, Shobhit Srivastava, Omdia Senior Principal Analyst stated, “Although NB-IoT is the leading LPWAN technology, over 90% of its connections are in China. Outside China, LoRaWAN remains the leading LPWAN connectivity technology due to years of unchallenged growth and momentum. LoRaWAN, with its alliance-driven approach, boasts a mature ecosystem that allows customers to choose from a range of partners and application-specific experts. Its future success is assured by its differentiated offerings. Newer LPWAN technologies like Wi-SUN and Mioty are also growing, following the successful alliance model that LoRa initially championed to develop an ecosystem.”

While LoRaWAN and NB-IoT may compete fiercely in today’s market (and through the forecast period), there is ample room for both protocols to be successful. LoRaWAN has now focusing on high-growth areas, such as smart buildings, smart homes, and asset tracking.

Srivastava further noted, “NB-IoT will gain momentum in Europe after starting in 2023 as several service providers deploy satellite-based NB-IoT connectivity to address coverage gaps in remote areas. This, along with certain government regulations, will bolster NB-IoT growth in the region. By the end of 2023, China still accounted for nearly 90% of global NB-IoT connections. The Chinese government and the three national mobile operators continue to advocate for widespread NB-IoT adoption supported by Chinese chipset vendors. As Chinese vendors introduce affordable modules in Europe and South America, the technology will see further growth. NB-IoT use cases remain largely confined to stationary applications with the most popular being smart meters and utilities (water/gas/electricity) and connected spaces (smart cities).”

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