Operators not ready for growth in IoT roaming

  • November 20, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Operators are unprepared for 560% global growth in low-power IoT roaming connections, according to Juniper Research.

The research company found there will be over 490 million low-power IoT roaming connections by 2028, up from 90 million in 2023. Low-power networks, such as NB-IoT and LTE-M, connect devices and sensors over cellular networks to monitor environments remotely in smart cities, agriculture and manufacturing.

This growth of 560% over the next five years will be driven by increased bilateral roaming agreements that cater specifically to these low-power devices. However, the report warns that operators are still underprepared to capitalise on this market shift and the significant roaming revenue arising.

A key technical problem faced by operators is their inefficiency in detecting low-power devices roaming on their networks, meaning operators lose potential revenue from these undetected devices. Due to their low data usage and intermittent connectivity, these devices require constant network monitoring to increase roaming revenue. Therefore, the report recommends operators partner with vendors who can provide AI-based roaming detection services.

These services will automate the continuous assessment of all roaming connections on their network, identifying low-power devices that sporadically roam onto networks.

“Operators must fully leverage the insights gained from AI‑based detection tools to introduce premium billing of roaming connections to further maximise roaming revenue,” said research author Alex Webb. “This must be done by implementing roaming agreements that price roaming connectivity on network resources used and time connected to the network.”

The research offers an assessment of the IoT roaming market to date, including market analysis and in-depth forecasts for 60 countries. The dataset contains over 22,300 market statistics within a five-year period. It includes a competitor leaderboard and an examination of current and future market opportunities.

More details of the report can be found at: www.juniperresearch.com/researchstore/operators-providers/iot-roaming-strategies-research-report.