The Internet of Things is all about connectivity of everything. While some IoT connectivity will be from wired devices and sensors, much of it will be from mobile connections. But how does one measure mobile IoT adoption? According to the February 2016 Cisco VNI report, measuring the growth of smarter end-user devices and M2M connections is a clear indicator of the growth of IoT. And the VNI report predicts some whopping growth – from 604 million M2M connections in 2015 to 3.1 billion by 2020. Machina Research expected 24 billion connected devices by 2024. Clearly, smart cities, maintenance, automotive, healthcare, etc. are seeing the benefits of connected information.
And businesses and consumers are rushing in to either provide or obtain better customer service. Much of M2M connectivity will be from some kind of short range technology like WiFi that gets handed off to a wired network.
But on the cellular network front, will M2M really have any impact? I mean, these are short data interactions for the most part. Machina Research estimates that M2M in 2015 accounted for 2% of cellular traffic, growing to 4% by 2024.
These are pretty impressive stats. While it is not much, I was surprised by the 2% of traffic in 2015 because M2M connections just got started. Growth to 4% of the 2024 traffic is much larger than it sounds, considering the monstrous overall data growth on the cellular networks to come. So carving out a percentage growth is no mean feat. There are likely to be issues for sure, and the GSMA is wading in to try to help avoid any chaos at least on the LTE network. It is expected that the connected car segment will be using the LTE network and if we have self-driving cars by 2024, we better not have any latency. At any rate, I’m not sure if they’ll help anyone avoid anything, or muck it up, or actually help, but they are in a position to try and do something.
In couple of weeks, I’ll write a few blogs about the marriage of IoT and Real-Time Communications, so look for that.