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Most enterprises will turn to 5G IoT – report

CSPs are predicted to see more growth in 5G IoT than LTE, as well as low-bandwidth connectivity via NB-IoT and LoRaWAN

Enterprises are increasing Internet of Things (IoT) deployments because they’re meeting or exceeding Return on Investment (ROI), according to Omdia’s most recent IoT Enterprise Survey. The market research firm’s most recent poll found that 90% of enterprises said their IoT projects have met or exceeded expectations, with 5G underscored as an important accelerator for more enterprise IoT deployments. The company’s sample included 500 global enterprises operating across nine countries, all who are in some stage of IoT solution rollout or deployment.

“Communications service providers will likely see growth in high-bandwidth, high-value connections as 66% of enterprises are using or plan to use 5G connections while 53% of enterprises are using or plan on deploying new connections using LTE. The responses were similarly encouraging for growth in low-bandwidth connectivity such as NB-IoT and LoRaWAN,” said Omdia.

Omdia’s report showed the percentage of enterprises spending over $1 million on IoT deployments rose from 32% to 48% year over year. Enterprises spending more than $5 million on IoT deployments saw 5% year-over-year growth.

Of course, IoT deployments are only effective if they work. The vast majority of enterprises polled for the study say they have: 62% say their IoT projects have met expectations, with 29% saying the projects exceeded expectations.

Omdia said that 84% of those businesses polled are using IoT in service of reaching sustainability goals, with about half of those calling IoT deployments crucial to that success.

The 5G IoT market is predicted to double by 2026

John Canali, IoT Principal Analyst at Omdia, discounted headlines that suggest IoT and 5G overpromise and underdeliver. He noted that 5G IoT cuts through the hype, despite the 5G’s status as an evolving technology.

“While sometimes outrageous proofs of concept are touted for headlines, our survey results are clear: enterprises are embracing IoT and 5G is emerging as the preferred type of connectivity,” he said.

Canali identified three problematic areas for enterprise IoT deployment: security, privacy and complexity.

“These issues all present opportunities for systems integrators (SIs), cloud providers, hardware vendors, component suppliers, and various other IoT vendors,” he added.

Omdia’s findings support a Juniper Research report that came out earlier this year which pegged the growth of the cellular IoT market as almost doubling in the coming few years, from $31 billion this year to $61 billion by 2026. Segment growth will be driven by high-end 5G and, in particular, low-end NB-IoT and LTE-M, it said. These opposite cellular tech families will be “key” to capture new IoT business in a pincer movement between high-power and high performance wide-area use cases and low-power wide-area (LPWA) systems.

Juniper Research said NB-IoT and LTE-M, as the twin cellular IoT set for LPWA use cases, will be the fastest-growing cellular IoT technologies over the next four years. The company predicts a remarkable 1,200 percent jump in LPWA connections, forecasted in the period to 2026. “The low cost of both connectivity and hardware will drive adoption for remote monitoring in key verticals, such as agriculture, smart cities, and manufacturing,” it said.

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