Cellular IoT: Our predictions in 2024

Over the last decade, the cellular Internet of Things (IoT) industry has matured significantly and become a mainstream technology.

Industry experts predict the market will continue to grow at a CAGR of 16 percent until 2027, adoption is showing no signs of slowing down. 

More organizations are reaping the benefits of IoT, enabling them to streamline processes and reduce operating costs. Meanwhile, stakeholders (e.g., OEMs, service providers) along the IoT value chain will continue to develop innovative solutions and products for current and new use cases.  

As we kick start the new year, the biggest questions swirling around IoT are which key trends will we expect to see in 2024.  

In this article, we look to the year ahead and discover what the future has in store. 

Cellular connectivity

According to IoT Analytics, in 2023, global shipments of cellular IoT modules and chipsets have declined 18% from the previous year. Yet, global cellular IoT connections grew 27 percent in 2023, surpassing the growth rate for global IoT connections. This growth is due to the adoption of newer technologies such as LTE-M, NB-IoT, LTE-Cat 1, and LTE Cat 1 bis, as older technologies such as 2G and 3G are phased out.  

As the cellular IoT connectivity and module market continues to mature, we can expect simpler, more flexible and holistic IoT solutions aimed at providing optimized solutions for resource management.  


IoT devices

The dramatic growth in use cases across all verticals from connected cars to medical devices continues to drive new advances in IoT devices. Rapid adoption is also expected to further drive down costs of individual IoT devices, with devices as low as USD$0.38 per unit. Consequently, mass deployments of thousands of devices will become even more affordable. 

Although devices continue to face existing issues – battery life, security, standardization and interoperability and scalability – we expect to see rapid improvements in those areas as governments continue to invest in the latest 5G infrastructure to accommodate. More smart devices are deployed to monitor all facets of resource management from traffic flow to air quality. 


AI & ML capabilities

As devices become more sophisticated, we expect to see the addition of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) capabilities. These technologies have also been growing rapidly, accompanied by advancements in data collection, analysis and processing. While IoT provides data, AI and ML drive smarter and more accurate actions, thanks to more robust connectivity options and high-speed processors to fortify it. 

This report by Deloitte, finds that the integration of AI and ML in IoT results in 20 percent – 50 percent reductions in their time invested in maintenance planning, a 10 percent – 20 percent increase in equipment availability and uptime, and a 5 percent – 10 percent reduction in maintenance costs. 


Movement towards eSIMs & iSIMs

Industry forecasts suggest there will be 3.4 billion eSIM-enabled devices by 2025. As eSIMs become increasingly popular, service providers are already of innovative ways to capitalize on the technology and expand current offerings.  

ISIM adoption and proliferation is also expected to increase. ISIMs open a new world of opportunity for IoT, especially for connected automotives. However, change comes slowly in this sector. 2024 could see more car manufacturers forming partnerships with service providers for more extensive features in autonomous and connected cars so that users have more options. 


IoT platforms

In addition to more AI/ML features, IoT platforms are likely to increase functionality, while simplifying integrations with existing or third-party architecture. Ensuring that managing an IoT suite becomes an achievable and seamless reality for projects and organizations of all sizes.  

The IoT platform must also be able to enable rapid scaling by supporting thousands of devices and data points. Platforms are also becoming increasingly customizable to meet unique business needs. IoT platforms are also moving towards prioritizing security with essential features like end-to-end encryption, user authentication, and access control.  


5G roll outs

According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, the number of 4G/5G IoT connections is expected to double in 3–4 years. The growing demand for enhanced IoT connectivity and the emergence of NR-RedCap as a cost-effective and energy-efficient solution for low-complexity devices are driving adoption as they enable new IoT applications and use cases that cater to the vast IoT ecosystem of low-power, low-bandwidth devices. As a result, we expect service providers to continue investing in 5G and NR-RedCap infrastructure this year. 

IoT ecosystem collaboration

This year, we see more system integrators focusing on deep domain knowledge and expertise in specific industries. By customizing IoT solutions and flexible deployment options that meet the current and evolving requirements of clients in these industries.  

We also expect to see more collaborations and partnerships in the IoT ecosystem to provide access to a broader range of technologies and capabilities to enhance the overall value proposition for customers.   


Cybersecurity & data privacy regulations

Last but not least, IoT solutions must continue to address cybersecurity and data privacy concerns. There will continue to be a regulatory and legislative focus on providing robust security measures to protect IoT devices, networks, and data from potential cyber threats.  

In summary, 2024 will be another year of consolidation and specialization of niche IoT companies. 

To learn more about our customizable solutions and offerings, get in touch with one of our industry experts today. 

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