NB-IoT and LTE-M September-2022 – Summary
Major industry initiatives worldwide, in areas like connected and autonomous vehicles, connected or smart homes, agriculture, robotics, smart industry, smart cities and smart energy, are exploring the potential of the Internet of things (IoT). Companies are actively working on IoT use cases involving both NB-IoT and LTE-MTC (LTE-M) networks, and the market has been boosted by the greater need for remote operations during the pandemic. We expect the IoT market to grow rapidly over the next five years and for 3GPP technologies to gain market share.
IoT infrastructure, chipsets, modules and devices are now available from a range of companies — large and small, well-established and start-ups. The increasing size of the 3GPP ecosystem will further drive commercialization and economies of scale in IoT, with mobile operators, infrastructure suppliers, chipset and module manufacturers, device companies and development and testing houses supporting new services.
The mobile industry continues to demonstrate its commitment to the range of low-power wide area network technologies based on 3GPP standards. Our research shows a steady rise in the number of networks supporting NB-IoT, growth in the number actively investing in LTE-M networks, and continued but slowed growth in the number of devices compliant with Cat-NB1 and -NB2 as well as Cat-M1. As of September 2022, there are:
• 178 operators that have deployed or launched NB-IoT or LTE-M networks in 80 countries
• 167 operators actively investing in NB-IoT technology, of which:
• 124 have deployed or commercially launched NB-IoT networks
• 25 are planning, piloting or deploying NB-IoT networks
• 18 are evaluating or trialling NB-IoT technology
• 76 operators actively investing in LTE-M technology, of which:
• 57 have deployed or commercially launched LTE-M networks
• 11 are planning, piloting or deploying LTE-M networks
• 9 are trialling LTE-M technology
Note that a technology is regarded as deployed when it has been installed in the operator’s commercial network and is intended for continued commercial use (a trial or pilot installation might be discontinued). A network is considered to be commercially launched once it is available at least on a limited basis for the use of commercial customers.
In terms of IoT equipment, GSA has identified a significant rise in both the number and range of devices supporting 3GPP IoT standards since the previous update in February 2022:
• 752 devices supporting either Cat-M1, Cat-NB1 (NB-IoT) or Cat-NB2
Within that total:
• 484 devices support Cat-NB1 (including known variants)
• 118 identified device models support Cat-NB2
• 571 devices support Cat-M1 (including known variants)
NB-IoT and LTE-M September-2022 – Summary
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