5G IoT Connections to pass 100 Million by 2026

  • January 25, 2023
  • William Payne

5G IoT connections will reach 116 million globally by 2026; rising from just 17 million in 2023, according to a study by Juniper Research.

It predicts that the healthcare sector and smart city services will drive this 1,100% growth over the next three years.

The research examined 5G adoption across a number of sectors, including the automotive industry, mobile broadband and smart homes. The report forecasts that the healthcare and smart cities market will account for over 60% of 5G IoT devices by 2026. The ultra-low latency and high bandwidth of 5G IoT technology will be key factors in driving a proliferation of new connections.

According to Juniper, smart cities offer the single biggest opportunity for 5G IoT.

The report predicts that 5G networks will experience significant growth in smart city services owing to the technology’s cost-effectiveness in deployment and ability to carry significant amounts of data. By 2026, the report predicts over 60 million 5G smart city connections globally.

The report authors urge city-planning authorities to utilise 5G connectivity as high-bandwidth gateways. They found that the monitoring of transportation networks, including road and rail networks, will be key services that require 5G-enabled high-bandwidth cellular connectivity.

The report also predicts that ongoing digital transformation in healthcare will drive 5G adoption in that sector.

According to the report authors, investment from healthcare providers into 5G-based services will be driven by the need to modernise services, as the global COVID-19 pandemic exposed inefficiencies in healthcare provision. The report identifies services including telemedicine, connected ambulances and emergency services, and real‑time remote monitoring as key services that could be immediately improved by the integration of 5G services.

Research co-author Olivia Williams said “5G will enable more efficient and dynamic healthcare provision that was not feasible with 4G or Wi-Fi. However, healthcare providers must first implement 5G in areas which provide a strong return on investment; most notably connected emergency services.”