The estimated 1 billion cellular internet of things ( IoT) connections globally today is expected to rise to 4.1 billion by the end of 2024, of which 45% are represented by Massive IoT.
These are among the findings of the June 2019 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report published recently.
Ericsson explained that industries using Massive IoT include utilities with smart metering, healthcare in the form of medical wearables, and transport with tracking sensors.
“5G will have positive impact on people’s lives and businesses, realizing gains beyond the IoT and the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson.
The report forecasts 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions – up from 1.5 billion forecast in the November 2018 edition – an increase of almost 27%.
The uptake of 5G subscriptions is expected to be fastest in North America, with 63% of anticipated mobile subscriptions in the region being for 5G in 2024. North East Asia follows in second place (47%), and Europe in third (40%).
Meanwhile, total mobile data traffic continued to soar globally in Q1 2019, up 82% year-on-year, according to Ericsson. It is predicted to reach 131 exabytes (EB) per month by the end of 2024, at which time 35% is projected to be over 5G networks.
Jejdling, however, cautioned that the full benefits of 5G “can only be reaped with the establishment of a solid ecosystem in which technology, regulatory, security, and industry partners all have a part to play.”
The report noted that the majority of cellular IoT devices today are connected via 2G and 3G technologies (GPRS, EDGE and HSPA). However, support for large volumes of devices has been enabled by the Massive IoT technologies NB-IoT and Cat-M deployed on top of LTE networks.
NB-IoT and Cat-M are expected to account for close to 45 percent of all cellular IoT connections by the end of 2024, Ericsson predicts that in the future, NB-IoT and Cat-M will be able to fully co-exist in spectrum bands with 5G NR.