Why the consumer IoT is stuck in the slow lane

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For uptake of Massive IoT connectivity to meet expectations in the B2C and B2B2C markets, telcos will need to dramatically improve coverage and simplify their propositions.


Format: PDF filePages: 49 pagesCharts: 16Author: David PringlePublication Date: June 2021

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Do consumers need Massive IoT?
    • The role of eSIMs
    • Takeaways
  • Market trends
    • IoT revenues: Small, but growing
  • Consumer use cases for cellular IoT
    • Amazon’s consumer IoT play
    • Asset tracking: Demand is growing
    • Connecting e-bikes and scooters
    • Slow progress in healthcare
    • Smart metering gains momentum
    • Supporting micro-generation and storage
    • Digital buildings: A regulatory play?
    • Managing household appliances
  • Technological advances
    • Network coverage
  • Conclusions: Strategic implications for telcos

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1: IoT networks should be considered across multiple dimensions
  • Figure 2: The characteristics of key consumer IoT use cases
  • Figure 3: Trials and deployments of NB-IoT outside China
  • Figure 4: NB-IoT is designed to provide much deeper coverage than its rivals
  • Figure 5: Vodafone’s view of the relative strengths of LTE-M and NB-IoT
  • Figure 6: eSIMs are very compact, which is ideal for small devices, such as sensors
  • Figure 7: Cellular IoT connections are growing quickly (numbers in billions)
  • Figure 8: Huawei highlights smart metering, smoke detectors and e-bike tracking
  • Figure 9: Vodafone Business reports strong growth in IoT connections
  • Figure 10: Transport-related use cases account for half of 2G IoT deployments in China
  • Figure 11: Amazon Sidewalk is designed to pick up where Wi-Fi leaves off
  • Figure 12: Digital Matter offers a broad selection of LTE-M/NB-IoT asset trackers
  • Figure 13: Multiple stakeholders have an interest in e-bike and scooter tracking
  • Figure 14: Value chain supporting the rollout of connected smoke alarms in China
  • Figure 15: Igloo Home claims its locks are better than counterparts that rely on Wi-Fi
  • Figure 16: How connectivity could support pay-as-you-go models for appliances


Technologies and industry terms referenced include: 2G, 4G, 5G, Amazon, apple, asset tracking, B2B, B2B2C, Business Model, China, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, DoCoMo, e-bikes, Ericsson, eSIM, Huawei, IoT, LoRa, LPWA, LTE-M, Massive IoT, NB-IoT, O2, security, Sigfox, Singtel, Smart Home, smart meters, Tesla, Verizon, Vodafone, water meter, wearbles, Wi-Fi