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4G Will Remain Dominant Until 2026

4G continues to dominate, 5G IoT growth will be incremental.

According to new research from StrategyAnalyTIcs, 5G will account for less than 1 percent of IoT connections by 2020, but will rise to 40 percent of all IoT connections by 2030, as highlighted in its latest IoT market forecast and analysis report.


Most 5G connections will not be meaningful until 2026, with 4G remaining the dominant technology over the forecast period.


Growth in 2020 is lower than expected due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a slight increase in overall connectivity. StrategyAnalyTIcs expects similar connection growth rates in 2021, with the pandemic highlighting the need for investment in telehealth, particularly remote patient monitoring and diagnostics.


Andrew Brown, executive director of enterprise and IoT research at StrategyAnalyTIcs, said.


"5G adoption is likely to occur at different stages in the largest markets, with eMBB (enhanced mobile broadband) reaching mass adoption first, with uRLLC (ultra-reliable and low-latency communications) gaining traction soon after, and mMTC (massive machine-type communications) showing the longest tail."


"The adoption of 5G depends not only on application requirements, but also on the availability of 5G chipsets, the speed and coverage of 5G network deployments and the evolution of regulations. Even as 5G evolves, 4G will continue to coexist, providing broad coverage at a lower cost and remaining important in the IoT."


David Kerr, Senior Vice President of Global Wireless Business at StrategyAnalyTIcs, adds, "The tipping point for 5G in IoT comes when support for mMTC, declining hardware prices and extensive network coverage, NBIoT and CatM are incorporated into 5G standards and devices. As a result, we believe that the shift to 5G in IoT will be a gradual process rather than a dramatic one."

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