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Smart cities, automotive to drive 5G IoT industry to deliver rocketing revenues

Analyst forecasts bonanza for operators as supporting internet of things services becomes essential to securing a return on their 5G investment

A study from Juniper Research is forecasting that total operator billed revenue from 5G internet of things (IoT) connections will soar over the next five years, from the $525m predicted by the end of 2020 to reach $8bn by the end of 2024.

The research, 5G networks in IoT: Sector analysis & impact assessment 2020-2025, anticipated that revenue from 5G connections is a highly sought-after new revenue stream for operators. It forecasts that 5G IoT connections must be considered as new connections that will not cannibalise existing operator connectivity revenue from current IoT technologies. It identifies the automotive and smart cities sectors as key growth drivers for 5G adoption over the next five years.

The research also forecasts that valued-added services will become crucial in the automotive and smart cities sectors. It also forecasts that these sectors will account for 70% of all 5G IoT connections by 2025, with higher than anticipated levels of device support for 5G radios accelerating the uptake of 5G connectivity.

“Management tools for the newly enabled services are key for users managing large-scale deployments,” remarked report author Andrew Knighton. “We believe that only 5% of 5G connections will be attributable to the IoT, but as these are newly enabled connections, operators must view them as essential to securing a return on their 5G investment.”

Going forward, the research urges operators to develop comprehensive value-added services to enable IoT service users to manage their 5G connections. It forecasts that tools such as network slicing and multi-access edge computing solutions will be essential to attract the highest spending IoT service users to use their 5G networks. The research claimed that the initial high pricing of 5G connectivity in the IoT sector would dissuade all but high-value IoT users. It urged operators to roll out holistic network management tools that complement the enhanced capabilities of 5G networks for IoT capabilities.

The 5G IoT sector has seen a lot of recent operator interest, leading to tech suppliers such as Ericsson and Nokia in particular identifying the congruent natures of the two as potentially lucrative. The latter has just announced that it is working with Telecom Argentina to enable the operator to offer IoT services to its enterprise customers in the country and across Latin America using the virtualised Nokia Worldwide IoT Network Grid (Wing) infrastructure, which will be offered as a managed service. This, said the Finnish tech firm, will give companies – in industry verticals such as automotive, agriculture, utilities, finance and services – faster capability to launch IoT services that improve their customer experience.

Commenting on the deployment, Fernando Freytes, IoT manager at Telecom Argentina, said: “We are expanding our capability to offer end-to-end solutions to our enterprise customers and solve their IoT-related needs with faster time to market. With this new technology, we expect to reinforce our leadership with focus on IoT end-to-end, providing not only connectivity, but all that is needed to help our customers maximise the potential of IoT.”

Read more about 5G and the internet of things

Read more on Internet of Things (IoT)

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