Cellular, LPWAN threaten short-range wireless

Staff writer
IoT Asia

Short-range wireless technologies like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 802.15.4 will face a greater competitive risk from emerging M2M cellular and LPWAN technologies, particularly in specific IoT market segments, according to ABI Research.

The new competition will target transportation and logistics, utilities and energy management, smart cities and smart buildings, industrial automation, and smart agriculture markets, among others.

“LPWAN technologies including RPMA, Sigfox, LoRa, LTE Cat-M1, NB-IoT, and EC-GSM-IoT comprise a very competitive and rapidly evolving IoT connectivity landscape,” said Andrew Zignani, senior analyst at ABI Research.

“These technologies are specifically designed for IoT and are arguably much better matches for outdoor, larger-scale IoT applications due to their abilities to target greater coverage areas, their ease of deployment, and their greater scalability.”

He added that, in contrast, short-range wireless connectivity solutions — such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ZigBee — are created for computing and consumer applications but are increasingly extended to address IoT verticals as well.

ABI Research forecasts the IoT will represent 15% of Wi-Fi, 27% of Bluetooth, and over 60% of 802.15.4 device shipments by 2022, as these technologies continue to evolve and target emerging opportunities ranging from wearables and healthcare to beacons, smart home, building and industrial automation, and smart cities, among others.

LPWAN and legacy M2M cellular technologies are set to ship nearly 575 million chipsets by 2022, growing faster than any short-range connectivity solution across IoT verticals.

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