Market shifts towards IoT diversity, says Berg

  • December 7, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Recent developments in network virtualisation, SIM technology and LPWA networking are driving a shift in the market towards a greater diversity of IoT connectivity management services, according to market watcher Berg Insight.

The IoT market research provider has released findings about the market for IoT connectivity management platforms (CMPs), a standard component in the value proposition from mobile operators and IoT MVNOs around the world.

As enterprises in various sectors inherently have different connectivity needs, IoT CMP vendors and IoT managed service providers are introducing services to address different segments of the market, ranging from mission critical to massive IoT applications. Delivery of global IoT connectivity services comprises another key focus area, propelled by enterprises’ demand for managing their global IoT device deployments through one platform or communications service provider.

About two-thirds of the global installed base of 1.74 billion IoT SIMs were managed using commercial CMPs at the end of 2020. Huawei is the leading IoT CMP vendor in terms of volume with close ties to domestic operators China Mobile and China Telecom and managed over 900 million IoT SIMs in Q2 2021.

Whale Cloud, formerly known as ZTE Soft and partly owned by Alibaba Group since 2018, is the runner up in the Chinese market.

Cisco is the dominant IoT CMP vendor outside of China with about 180 million connections in mid-2021, followed by Vodafone and Ericsson. Vodafone stands out as the only mobile operator that licenses its platform to third-party service providers. IoT CMPs are also a key component in the offerings from technology providers and IoT MVNOs such as 1NCE, Emnify, FloLive, IoTM Solutions and Mavoco.

“Several major IoT CMP vendors have in recent time added eSIM management capabilities to their platforms as a tool to simplify logistics and localise connectivity,” said Fredrik Stalbrand, senior analyst at Berg Insight.

Uptake of eSIM technology in the IoT market has been slow compared with the consumer market but seems to have reached a tipping point during 2020.

“Enterprises in the utilities and security verticals are now following in the steps of the major automotive OEMs and adopt eSIMs in a broader set of IoT applications,” said Stalbrand.