According to GSMA Intelligence forecasts, by 2025 there will be 3.5 billion cellular IoT connections, including 1.9 billion licensed LPWA connections.
The GSMA has announced that Mobile IoT or Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks are now globally available in licensed spectrum in 50 markets around the world following 94 launches by 50 different mobile operators across both LTE-M and NB-IoT. Coverage is now expected to reach approximately 93% of the world’s largest IoT markets by Q2 2019.
Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA said, “The market clearly sees the benefit of solutions in licensed spectrum that offer flexibility, adaptability, security and lower cost. They are also future proofed for the 5G era and will support and co-exist with other 5G technologies.”
To date there have been 69 NB-IoT launches in 46 markets and 25 launches of LTE-M networks in 19 markets. This is supported by a network of 47 Open Labs worldwide enabling organisations to test their products and services prior to launch.
Recent launches in Q4 2018 in Europe include Altice (Portugal – NB-IoT), Orange, (France and Romania – LTE-M), Telenor Group (Norway – NB-IoT, LTE-M), Telia (Estonia – NB-IoT), SFR (France – NB-IoT), Swisscom (Switzerland – NB-IoT, LTE-M) and Vodafone (Malta and UK – NB-IoT). In Asia, Grameenphone (Bangladesh – NB-IoT), Chungwa (Taiwan – LTE-M), Telkomsel (Indonesia – NB-IoT) Viettel Group (Vietnam – NB-IoT) and Megafon and MTS (Russia – NB-IoT). Verizon and Spark also launched LTE-M in North America and New Zealand respectively, while STC launched NB-IoT in Saudi Arabia and Telefonica launhed LTE-M in Argentina.
The GSMA Mobile IoT Innovators community has also reached 2,100 developers from more than 1,300 companies around the world. The official community is an ecosystem that unites operators, vendors, manufacturers and developers around LPWA technologies in licensed spectrum and supports the development and creation of innovative new products and services that utilize these technologies.