Studies from Juniper Research are predicting continued strength in the internet of things (IoT) and communications platforms-as-a-service (CPaaS) markets over the short and medium terms, with 5G-based IoT connections set to climb from just 17 million in 2023 to reach 116 million globally by 2026, while consistently low over-the-top (OTT) business messaging pricing will act as a key driver of adoption by CPaaS platforms.
The 5G monetisation: Business models, strategic recommendations and market forecasts 2022-2027 report examined adoption across key sectors, such as the automotive industry, mobile broadband and smart homes.
Of Juniper’s prediction of 1,100% growth in 5G IoT connections over the next three years, surpassing 100 million for the first time globally by 2026, the driving engines will be the healthcare and smart city services sectors. It added that ultra-low latency and high bandwidth of 5G IoT technology will be the key factors in driving this proliferation of new connections.
Indeed, the study forecasts that the healthcare and smart cities market will account for over 60% of 5G IoT devices by 2026. Drilling deeper into the latter sector, Juniper anticipates that 5G networks will experience significant growth in smart city services owing to its cost-effectiveness in deployment and ability to carry significant amounts of data.
By 2026, it predicts there will be more than 60 million 5G smart city connections globally, and the report also found that the monitoring of transportation networks, including road and rail networks, will be key services that require 5G-enabled high-bandwidth cellular connectivity. Given the data, Juniper advised city-planning authorities to use 5G connectivity as high-bandwidth gateways.
In healthcare, the report noted that investment from healthcare providers into 5G-based services will be driven by the need to modernise services, as the Covid-19 pandemic exposed inefficiencies in healthcare provision. The report identified services including telemedicine, connected ambulances and emergency services, and real-time remote monitoring as key services that will be immediately improved by the integration of 5G services.
“5G will enable more efficient and dynamic healthcare provision that was not feasible with 4G or Wi-Fi,” said research co-author Olivia Williams. “However, healthcare providers must first implement 5G in areas which provide a strong return on investment; most notably connected emergency services.”
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In the CPaaS sector, Juniper expects global OTT business messaging traffic to rise from 93 billion in 2023, to 254 billion by 2027, with this growth of 172% driven by increased availability of open OTT messaging application programming interfaces and competitive pricing models. This, according to the OTT business messaging: Monetisation, value-added services and market forecasts 2023-2027 report, will create a viable rich media alternative to established operator-led channels such as SMS.
Among the key advantages of OTT business messaging is, said Juniper, that it enables brands and enterprises to communicate with customers via the use of third-party messaging applications, such as WhatsApp and WeChat. The research identified consistently low OTT business messaging pricing as a key driver of adoption by CPaaS platforms.
As OTT messaging pricing is set by the platform itself rather than operators, there’s a far less volatile pricing model compared with SMS. It added that the increased processing and strict channel verification systems of OTT messaging applications will be key to ensuring that OTT communications are not susceptible to what it called “the same fraudulent activity found on channels such as SMS”.
Additionally, the report urged CPaaS platforms to develop advanced security features, including artificial intelligence-based fraud prevention, that go beyond the capabilities of the OTT messaging channel to provide value-added services for enterprises.