20b connected devices

Bengt Nordstršm/Northstream
Telecom Asia

Where is the mobile industry in 2020? The biggest changes are not in technology but in the device market and business models. 

The total number of mobile connections is 30-50 billion by that time, largely driven by the huge increase in the connected device market (in its infancy, in the 90s, known as M2M) that is three to five times bigger than the traditional handset market. 

On the device side Nokia is still the biggest player, but it has been forced to surrender market share to North American players in the advanced phone segment and to Chinese vendors in midrange and low-end segments. 

Mobile chipsets are installed, already in the manufacturing process, in all products. System integrators and application developers, through wholesale agreements with operators, play a key role in the development and growth of the 20+ billion connected device market. 

"Facebook talk and chat for free" is the most popular mobile voice and messaging services globally. It also wins a GSMA award for highest quality voice and messaging service at the MWC held in Beijing 2019.

At the same event China Mobile is demoing 5G with data speeds up to 1 Tbps, with the commercial launch planned for 2021.

"We expect that growth in 5G will be hampered by the shortage of devices," comments retiring CEO of Northstream, Bengt Nordstršm.

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