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Smart cities to reach 50 million low power IoT connections by 2024

The smart cities sector is primed for disruption by low power Internet of Things technologies, according to a report by Juniper Research.

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The smart cities sector is primed for disruption by low power IoT connections
The smart cities sector is primed for disruption by low power IoT connections

The smart cities sector is set to reach 50 million low power Internet of Things (IoT) connections by 2024, according to a study from Juniper Research.

 

The new research, Low Power IoT: Impact Analysis, Vertical Assessment & Forecasts 2019-2024, identified smart cities as a sector primed for disruption by low power IoT technologies.

 

Bandwidth and power

 

Low power IoT technologies include low-priced wireless connections that deliver low bandwidth and power saving features suited to asset monitoring.

 

The report highlighted use cases such as smart traffic monitoring, smart parking and connected refuse collections, as those which will benefit from low cost wireless connectivity.

 

“The concept of a smart city has been hindered by the substantial investment required and lack of clarity on securing a return on this investment,” said Sam Barker, senior analyst at Juniper Research, and research author.

 

“These low cost IoT technologies enable stakeholders to secure this return on investment earlier and take full advantage of the smart city proposition.”

 

The study found that the total number of cellular low power IoT connections will reach 156 million by 2024; growing from 4 million in 2019. It argues that decreasing costs of these connections, including LTE-M and NB-IoT, will attract new IoT network users which require low cost solutions.

“These low cost IoT technologies enable stakeholders to secure this return on investment earlier and take full advantage of the smart city proposition”

Meanwhile, service revenues from low power IoT technologies are forecast to exceed $2.6bn by 2024; rising from only $290m in 2019, a growth of 800 per cent over the next five years.

 

However, the research found that networks using an unlicensed spectrum, such as Sigfox and LoRa, will provide stern competition to cellular low power IoT technologies.

 

The low investment cost of unlicensed spectrum networks, enabled by cost-effective network devices, will drive adoption to exceed 160 million connections by 2024.

 

In response, Juniper’s report urged low power IoT service providers to offer existing cellular technologies, such as 4G and 5G, in tandem with low power IoT alternatives to maximise the capabilities of IoT networks.

 

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