Major IoT-based cellular applications that contributed to the generation of significant income include smart meters, automobiles, router/CPE, industries, personal computers, and point-of-sale systems; however, the fastest-growing segments are router/CPE, personal computers, and drones.
It is common knowledge that cellular connectivity is the most reliable and secure choice for global Internet of Things installations. You don’t need to build any novel hardware or install any extra network gateways to facilitate remote rollouts. This would indicate that preexisting cell towers are merely being linked together. Cellular roaming is another option that can be investigated. For cellular IoT ventures to maintain consistent connectivity across areas without having to swap SIM cards, partner carriers and your cellular providers will need to come to some sort of arrangement or association. As the cellular network requires SIM cards for authentication, determining the true identity of the object becomes a challenging task. All products in the IoT ecosystem are at high risk if the security of even a single connected gadget is compromised. The cellular network constantly maintains each device isolated from the others to ensure their safety.
Now, the dependability of the mobile gadget is an additional factor to consider. As the use of cellular connections has skyrocketed around the globe, Cellular IoT protocols have been developed to take full advantage of the advantages and characteristics already present in cellular networks. The approved frequency bands are where the cellular networks guarantee the quality and speed of their communications. Cellular networks, on the other hand, support a large number of connections per tower that can be independently managed and watched, guaranteeing success and excellent service quality. If you look back far enough, you’ll notice that battery life and power consumption have always been major roadblocks for widespread cellular acceptance. By utilizing next-generation cellular protocols, cellular IoT modules would be able to reduce power consumption inactively and send low amounts of data with minimal power consumption. Both NB-IoT and LTE-M were developed specifically to deliver high-quality performance when operating on battery power alone. Because of the limited available data throughput, simpler radio modems and signal modulation schemes are greatly needed, which in turn reduces the necessary amount of electricity. The foregoing advantages are realized on contemporary hardware by means of enhancements to sleep/wake modes.
New Role of Technology in Cellular IoT Module Market
Experts in the field of telecommunications have recently begun to notice that the connectivity landscape in China is vastly different from that in other areas of the world. As an example, the penetration of narrowband (NB)-IoT is significantly greater in countries outside of China than in China itself. LTE-Cat 1 has a low 12 percent prevalence in China, but a high 23 percent penetration elsewhere. IoT Analytics found that outside of China, cellular/licensed low-power wide-area (LPWA) shipments (such as NB-IoT and long-term evolution-machine type connectivity LTE-M) accounted for less than 10% of the market in 2020. Almost all of this cargo originated in China, where development of NB-IoT is a top priority.
IoT Analytics Senior Analyst Satyajit Sinha wrote a report in which he emphasized the significance of cellular IoT modules “A few years back, LTE-Cat 1 began to become popular in North America. As 2G networks were phased out by network providers, LTE-Cat 1 began to emerge as the de facto standard for replacing them in IoT applications that had previously relied on either 2G or 3G speeds. In 2018, the transition from 2G/3G to LTE-Cat 1 began in earnest. Companies like Telit, Thales, and Sierra Wireless have delivered over 40 million LTE-Cat 1 modules to customers outside of China in the last three years alone. Exports of 2G/3G modules fell as LTE-Cat 1 exports rose, as the statistics show.”
In recent years, NB-IoT has emerged as China’s go-to replacement for 2G IoT use cases. Because of this, NB-IoT has become the standard for approved LPWA networks in China. However, since LTE-M does not exist in China and certain technological obstacles exist within NB-IoT, a new market has emerged: low-cost LTE-Cat 1 bis modules based on 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 13. The technique performs best with a single antenna and low-power uses. “In comparison, the LTE-Cat 1 standard used in the Americas is based on 3GPP Release 8 specifications and relies on a minimum of two receive (Rx) antennas. While Intel and Qualcomm chipsets power 3GPP Release 8 LTE-Cat 1 devices, UNISOC 8910DM is at the helm of 3GPP Release 13 LTE-Cat 1 bis devices. Release 8 LTE-Cat 1 modules are roughly $10 more expensive than Release 13 LTE-Cat 1 modules “In his investigation, Sinha continued.
Growth of Global Cellular IoT Module
According to a report from Counterpoint, sales of foreign cellular IoT modules increased by 58% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2020. According to reports, China has been the most aggressive in adopting this technology, and the country has already captured over 40% of the earnings. The market share for cellular IoT modules in India has increased by 324 percent year over year, with 4G Cat 1 following closely behind at 105 percent. The most popular uses of 5G technology were in routers/CPE, personal computers, and factories. Counterpoint’s Senior Researcher Soumen Mandal emphasized the significance of MeiG, Quectel, and Telit securing the top three spots in the global cellular IoT module market. These companies accounted for roughly 40% of total income in Q4 2021, while year-over-year increases in sales and shipments of this technology were 57% and 59%, respectively.
MeiG is one of the top Chinese companies in this sector, and it has recently broken into the top three spots on the cellular IoT module cluster in terms of both income and shipments. The organization is devoting more resources to R&D and study of AIoT and smart module-based high-end apps like router/CPE, intelligent cockpit, video recordings, industrial PDAs, drones, and augmented and virtual reality. The firm has expanded into the low-end app market as of 2021. Combining low-priced and flagship modules into a single product helped the business increase revenue by more than 100 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Ikotek, Quectel’s newly released ODM brand, will present stiff rivalry in the United States. Earnings in the same division increased by the same magnitude, one hundred percent year on year, in Q4 2021. This company has been the subject of much speculation among industry experts regarding its potential entry into the Latin American and North American marketplaces. Products can be tailored and developed to meet the specific needs of a business. But Telit has rebounded strongly after a period of underperformance. Telit’s steady expansion of products and services over the years has contributed to the company’s development, and now Telit NExT is providing universal connectivity solutions in 190 countries so that IoT device manufacturers can take advantage of expanding business models and remove critical obstacles. When it came to assisting customers with their transition to 4G cat modules in Q42021, the company’s main emphasis was on Latin America. Through this strategy, the company was able to establish itself as the primary module supplier in the nation and to consolidate its position as the market leader in North America.
The Counterpoint Research report states that LG and Rolling Wireless primarily cater to the automotive sector, with Sierra Wireless, Rolling Wireless, Fibocom, Thales, and Sunsea also playing an important role. Thales primarily operates in the Japanese, North American, and European markets, focusing on industrial uses, smart meters, and healthcare. Although Fibocom is praised for its excellent work in 4G Cat 1 bis technology, the company’s subpar NB-IoT module prevented it from placing among the top five module suppliers. But despite Sunsea’s success in the global IoT module market, the company’s stock price fell. The success of both Sierra Wireless and Rolling Wireless increased dramatically, with earnings increasing by 87% and 105%, respectively. Rolling Wireless quickly joined the ranks of the top ten module suppliers after expanding last year from Sierra’s automotive sector.