As mobile communication markets are approaching saturation, cellular IoT is expected to bring new business opportunities and revenue growth for mobile telecom carriers. But development of cellular IoT may not be optimistic, mainly because ARPU for cellular IoT services will be much lower than for mobile communications. Nearly 50% of global cellular M2M (machine to machine) connected devices are concentrated in the US and China, according to Digitimes Research.
In most cases, ARPU for cellular M2M IoT services is less than 5% the ARPU from smartphone subscriptions, Digitimes Research indicated.
According to GSM Association, there will be 980 million M2M connected devices around the world in 2020, and more than 50% will be based on low-power wide area networks.
There was a lack of cellular IoT standards until 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) completed specification of NB-IoT and LTE-MTC (machine-type communications) low-power IoT standards in June 2016, resulting in a lag in development of cellular IoT.
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