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Cellular and LPWA IoT Device Ecosystems - 5th Edition

  • ID: 5345712
  • Report
  • June 2021
  • Region: Global
  • 145 Pages
  • Berg Insight AB
Shipments of Cellular IoT Modules Exceeded 300 Million Units in 2020


  • Cheerzing
  • Gosuncn WeLink
  • MediaTek
  • Nordic Semiconductor
  • Sequans Communications
  • Telit
Cellular and LPWA IoT Device Ecosystems gives a comprehensive overview of the main wide area networking technologies for the Internet of Things - 2G/3G/4G/5G cellular, LoRa, Sigfox and 802.15.4 WAN.

This strategic research report provides you with 145 pages of unique business intelligence including 5-year industry forecasts and expert commentary on which to base your business decisions.

The Internet of Things is weaving a new worldwide web of interconnected objects. As of Q1-2021, about 2.1 billion devices were connected to wide area networks based on cellular or LPWA technologies. The market is highly diverse and divided into multiple ecosystems. The analyst forecasts that annual shipments of cellular and non-3GPP LPWA IoT modules will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.7 percent from 363 million units in 2020 to 855 million units in 2025. Get up to date with the latest trends from all main regions and vertical markets with this unique 145-page report.

Highlights from the report:

  • 360-degree overview of the main IoT wide area networking ecosystems.
  • Comparison of technologies and standards.
  • Updated profiles of the main suppliers of IoT chipsets and modules.
  • Cellular IoT module market data for 2020.
  • Adoption trends for LPWA technologies including NB-IoT, LTE-M, LoRa and Sigfox.
  • Cellular and non-3GPP LPWA IoT device market forecasts until 2025.

This report answers the following questions:

  • How will the IoT wide area networking technology market evolve over the next five years?
  • Who are the new challengers in the cellular IoT module market?
  • Which new mass-volume segments can be addressed by low-cost LPWA technologies?
  • Why are the new standards LTE-M and NB-IoT so significant for the cellular IoT ecosystem?
  • Which IoT applications will drive the adoption of 5G?
  • What is the current installed base of LoRa and Sigfox?
  • What are the prospects for emerging LPWA technology standards?
The analyst estimates that global cellular IoT module shipments increased by 14 percent to a new record level of 303 million in 2020. Annual revenues grew slower at 8 percent to reach US$ 3.4 billion. While the COVID-19 pandemic affected demand in several major application areas in 2020, the global chipset shortage will have a broader impact on the market in 2021 and curb the growth of IoT device shipments in the near term. Until 2025, the analyst forecasts that cellular IoT module shipments will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.8 percent to reach 629.6 million units.

The results of the latest cellular IoT module vendor market share assessment show that the five largest module vendors, including Quectel, Sierra Wireless, Sunsea AIoT, Fibocom and Thales, have 71 percent of the market in terms of revenues. “The performance of the top vendors varied markedly in the year, to some extent due to different exposure to geographical and vertical markets that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic”, says Fredrik Stalbrand, Senior Analyst. China-based Quectel and Fibocom experienced the highest module sales growth at around 40 percent, driven by strong demand for 4G LTE and LPWA products. In the coming year, Quectel is set to surpass the US$ 1 billion mark in annual revenues, the first of any cellular IoT module provider.

Following the commercial availability of 5G modules in mid-2020, several IoT device makers launched 5G devices during the year. These include a number of IoT gateway vendors, as well as car makers in China. A wider range of IoT devices supporting 5G networks are expected to reach the market in 2021 and beyond as network coverage improves and IoT-optimised modems become available in volume with attractive pricing. Another key accelerator for the adoption of 5G in the IoT market will be support for reduced capability (RedCap) devices that will be introduced in the upcoming 3GPP Release 17. Sometimes also called NR Light, RedCap devices will be less expensive compared to the 5G devices that are being deployed today and offer higher data rates than LPWA technologies like LTE-M and NB-IoT. Modules supporting the specification will likely reach the market in 2023 and increase the addressable market for 5G NR into use cases like wearables, video surveillance and industrial monitoring.

Who should buy this report?

Cellular and LPWA IoT Device Ecosystems are the foremost sources of information about all the major wide area networking technologies for the Internet of Things. Whether you are a chipset or module vendor, software vendor, utility, vehicle manufacturer, telecom operator, investor, consultant, or government agency, you will gain valuable insights from our in-depth research.
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


  • Cheerzing
  • Gosuncn WeLink
  • MediaTek
  • Nordic Semiconductor
  • Sequans Communications
  • Telit

Executive summary 

1 Wide area networks for the Internet of Things 
1.1 Which things will be connected to wide area networks? 
1.1.1 Utility meters 
1.1.2 Motor vehicles 
1.1.3 Buildings 
1.1.4 Low value assets - Industry 4.0 and consumer products 
1.1.5 Future opportunities in smart cities 
1.2 What are the technology options? 
1.2.1 Network deployment models 
1.2.2 Unlicensed and licensed frequency bands 
1.2.3 Cost comparison for cellular and LPWA technologies 
1.3 Which are the leading technology ecosystems?

2 3GPP ecosystem 
2.1 Technology characteristics 
2.1.1 3GPP Release 13 - Introducing LTE-M and NB-IoT 
2.1.2 3GPP Release 14 - IoT enhancements and C-V2X 
2.1.3 3GPP Release 15 - The first phase of 5G specifications 
2.1.4 3GPP Release 16 - URLLC enhancements, IIoT features and 5G NR C-V2X  
2.1.5 3GPP Release 17 - RedCap and non-terrestrial network communications 
2.1.6 Network footprint 
2.1.7 2G mobile networks 
2.1.8 3G/4G mobile networks 
2.1.9 4G mobile IoT networks (LTE-M and NB-IoT) 
2.1.10 5G mobile networks 
2.2 Semiconductor vendors 
2.2.1 HiSilicon (Huawei) 
2.2.2 Intel 
2.2.3 MediaTek 
2.2.4 Qualcomm 
2.2.5 Sequans Communications 
2.2.6 Sony 
2.2.7 UNISOC 
2.2.8 Other semiconductor vendors 
2.3 Module vendors 
2.3.1 Cheerzing 
2.3.2 China Mobile IoT 
2.3.3 Fibocom 
2.3.4 Gosuncn WeLink 
2.3.5 MeiG Smart Technology 
2.3.6 Neoway 
2.3.7 Nordic Semiconductor 
2.3.8 Quectel 
2.3.9 Sierra Wireless 
2.3.10 Sunsea AIoT (SIMCom & Longsung) 
2.3.11 Telit 
2.3.12 Thales 
2.3.13 u-blox 
2.3.14 Other cellular IoT module vendors 

3 LoRa and LoRaWAN ecosystem 
3.1 Technology characteristics 
3.2 Network footprint 
3.2.1 Europe 
3.2.2 Asia-Pacific 
3.2.3 The Americas
3.2.4 Middle East & Africa 
3.3 Semiconductor and module vendors 
3.3.1 Semtech 
3.3.2 Other semiconductor vendors 
3.3.3 LoRa module vendors 

4 Sigfox ecosystem 
4.1 Technology characteristics 
4.2 Network footprint 
4.2.1 Europe 
4.2.2 The Americas 
4.2.3 Asia-Pacific 
4.2.4 Middle East & Africa 
4.2.5 Global satellite coverage planned in collaboration with Eutelsat 
4.3 Semiconductor and module vendors 
4.3.1 Semiconductor vendors 
4.3.2 Sigfox module vendors 

5 802.15.4 WAN ecosystem 
5.1 Technology characteristics 
5.1.1 IPv6 connectivity stacks based on 802.15.4 
5.1.2 Wi-SUN 
5.1.3 ZigBee 
5.2 Network footprint 
5.3 Chipsets and modules 

6 Vertical market segments 
6.1 Motor vehicles 
6.1.1 OEM connected car applications 
6.1.2 Aftermarket connected car applications 
6.1.3 Connected commercial vehicle applications 
6.2 Energy & Infrastructure 
6.2.1 Smart electricity metering 
6.2.2 Smart gas and water metering 
6.2.3 Smart cities 
6.3 Industry & Transport 
6.4 Healthcare 
6.5 Other 
6.5.1 Buildings & security 
6.5.2 Consumer products 
6.5.3 Payments 

7 Market forecasts and trends 
7.1 Market summary 
7.2 3GPP family 
7.2.1 Europe 
7.2.2 North America 
7.2.3 Latin America 
7.2.4 Asia-Pacific 
7.2.5 Middle East & Africa 
7.3 LoRa 
7.4 Sigfox 
7.5 802.15.4 WAN 



List of Figures 
Figure 1.1: Top wide area IoT target segments (2020) 
Figure 1.2: Building stock by category (EU28+2/US 2019) 
Figure 1.3: Unlicensed and reserved radio frequencies available for wireless IoT .
Figure 1.4: Cost comparison for wireless modules (2021) 
Figure 2.1: Comparison of LTE IoT specifications 
Figure 2.2: Cost and capabilities of 5G NR devices 
Figure 2.3: Number of LTE-M and NB-IoT networks (World 2018-2020) 
Figure 2.4: Cost comparison between module and chipset designs 
Figure 2.5: Routes to market for cellular chipsets 
Figure 2.6: Business activities of key global semiconductor vendors 
Figure 2.7: QCT revenue streams 
Figure 2.8: Top cellular IoT module vendors, by revenues and shipments (World 2020) ..
Figure 2.9: Fibocom’s embedded cellular IoT modules (Q2-2021) 
Figure 2.10: Gosuncn WeLink’s embedded cellular IoT modules (Q2-2021) 
Figure 2.11: MeiG’s embedded cellular IoT modules (Q2-2021) 
Figure 2.12: Neoway’s embedded cellular IoT modules (Q2-2021) 
Figure 2.13: Select Quectel cellular IoT modules (Q2-2021) 
Figure 2.14: Sierra Wireless’ device-to-cloud offering 
Figure 2.15: Sierra Wireless’ embedded cellular modules (Q1-2021) 
Figure 2.16: Example of lifetime value of an IoT solution 
Figure 2.17: SIMCom’s and Longsung’s embedded cellular IoT modules (Q2-2021) 
Figure 2.18: Telit’s embedded cellular IoT modules (Q2-2021) 
Figure 2.19: Thales’ embedded cellular IoT modules (Q2-2021) 
Figure 2.20: u-blox’ embedded cellular IoT modules and chipsets (Q1-2021) 
Figure 3.21: u-blox Thingstream platform overview 
Figure 3.1: LoRaWAN network architecture 
Figure 3.2: Public LoRaWAN network operators in Europe (Q2-2021) 
Figure 3.3: Public LoRaWAN network operators in Asia-Pacific (Q2-2021) 
Figure 3.4: Public LoRaWAN network operators in the Americas (Q2-2021) 
Figure 3.5: Public LoRaWAN network operators in Middle East & Africa (Q2-2021) 
Figure 3.6: Semtech’s LoRa business KPIs (FY-2019-FY-2022E) 
Figure 3.7: List of LoRa modules by vendor (Q2-2021) 
Figure 4.1: Sigfox network architecture 
Figure 4.2: Sigfox network partners in Europe (Q1-2021) 
Figure 4.3: Sigfox networks in the Americas (Q1-2021) 
Figure 4.4: Sigfox networks in Asia-Pacific and MEA (Q1-2021) 
Figure 4.5: List of Sigfox module vendors by supported regions (Q1-2021) 
Figure 5.1: Major 802.15.4 networking platforms for smart metering (Q1-2021) 
Figure 6.1: OEM telematics attach rates in new vehicles, by region (2020/2025) 
Figure 6.2: Projected smart meter penetration in key markets (2025) 
Figure 7.1: Cellular/LPWA IoT device shipment forecast, by region (World 2019-2025) ..
Figure 7.2: Cellular/LPWA IoT device shipment forecast, by technology (2019-2025) 
Figure 7.3: Cellular IoT module shipments, by region (World 2019-2025) 
Figure 7.4: Cellular IoT module shipment forecast (World 2019-2025) 
Figure 7.5: Cellular IoT module shipment forecast (Europe 2019-2025) 
Figure 7.6: Cellular IoT module shipment forecast (North America 2019-2025) 
Figure 7.7: Cellular IoT module shipment forecast (Latin America 2019-2025) 
Figure 7.8: Cellular IoT module shipment forecast (Asia-Pacific 2019-2025) 
Figure 7.9: Cellular IoT module shipment forecast (Middle East & Africa 2019-2025) 
Figure 7.10: LoRa device shipments forecast (World 2019-2025) 
Figure 7.11: Sigfox device shipments forecast (World 2019-2025) 
Figure 7.12: 802.15.4 WAN device shipments forecast (World 2019-2025) 

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • Cheerzing 
  • China Mobile IoT 
  • Fibocom 
  • Gosuncn WeLink 
  • HiSilicon (Huawei) 
  • Intel 
  • MediaTek 
  • MeiG Smart Technology 
  • Neoway 
  • Nordic Semiconductor 
  • Qualcomm 
  • Quectel 
  • Sequans Communications 
  • Sierra Wireless 
  • Sony 
  • Sunsea AIoT (SIMCom & Longsung) 
  • Telit 
  • Thales 
  • u-blox 
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

The Internet of Things is very diverse. There are hundreds of different use cases, each with different dynamics. The starting point is to segment the market.

The analyst begins with a number of sectors: Automotive, Cities, Health, Industry, Home, Industrial, Energy, Retail and Consumer Electronics. Each of these sectors breaks down into a number of applications. In total across all sectors, the analyst examines around 150 separate applications. It is at this application level that they generate their IoT forecast. The analyst builds reliable data bottom-up. They take into consideration the current adoption rate, regulations, demographics, vertical-specific statistics, value chain structure, etc.

The rigorous data collection methods are based on first-hand and secondary sources. The analyst conducts many hundreds of executive interviews on a yearly basis with companies from all parts of the IoT value chain.  They talk to on a regular basis all major mobile operator groups and regulators as well as the chipset, module, and terminal vendors. They also interview many companies in each of the vertical markets.