Last month, Vodafone announced they were the first global cellular for IoT (Internet of Things) provider to surpass 50 million connections, reporting at the same time they are growing at over one million new connections per month.

They emphasized the increasing adoption rates of automotive, healthcare and utilities sectors, while also sharing on their cellular for IoT Barometer report that nearly a quarter of enterprise IT budgets are being allocated to internet of things with 76% stating IoT will be critical for future success.

The Vodafone report also found that 48 per cent of businesses that are using IoT are doing so in support of large-scale business transformation with an astounding 86 per cent of the industrial sector seeing significant return from their IoT adoption.

Voda’s findings were backed up later in the month by Strategy Analytics, whose “Cellular for IoT Connections by Industry Vertical, Bandwidth and Region,” indicates these connections will show significant growth heading into 2025, with the automotive, utility and security vertical markets driving connections.

Cellular For IoT: 2.4 Billion in 2025

Strategy Analytics expects cellular for IoT connections to grow to more than 2.4 billion in 2025, with the top three vertical markets above accounting for over 46% of global connections in less than 10 years. Across the forecast period, the automotive vertical market will not only remain the single largest global consumer of cellular for IoT connections, but increase its market share position by 2025.

In their news release, Andrew Brown, Executive Director of Enterprise and IoT Research at Strategy Analytics, said “With the industry focusing on the path to 5G and low power 3GPP offerings, such as LTE Cat M1 and NB IoT, coupled with a variety of established connectivity platforms, there are lots of choices for cellular connectivity in IoT and the outlook has never been brighter.”

Brown indicated as well that the sheer number of choices for connectivity “runs the risk of creating confusion for customers with regard to which technologies should be employed in which use cases.”

The value of IoT and IIoT is being more and more driven by more intelligent systems, including the manipulation of rich data rather than simple connections, as utilities, healthcare technology companies, and automotive players aim to capitalize on the digital economy to create more efficient factories, more affordable digital healthcare and improved experiences for consumers.

A Simpler Approach – Network Neutral, Network Protocol Agnostic

Here at NetFoundry, we’re learning by interacting with some of the largest technology, industrial and healthcare companies in the world – along with many creative IoT and IIoT start-ups – that ultimately the connectivity choice will be measured based on feasibility driven by security (extremely important), cloud readiness (there are no smart deployments without connectivity to the cloud for processing, data and analytics and actionable outcomes), and economics (including a preference for by-the-drop pricing models).

Matt Wilkins, Senior Analyst IoT Research at Strategy Analytics, said “The growth in cellular connections underlines the importance of cellular networks in IoT, with networks not just being used to facilitate simple connections, but increasingly supporting rich data that will enable new and compelling use cases.”

cellular for iot

The full report, IoT Cellular Connections by Industry Vertical, Bandwidth and Region, is published by Strategy Analytics IoT Strategies (IoT) service, with more information here.

Vodafone’s IoT Baramoter report is available here.