Market Research Logo

The IoT forecast: worldwide technology trends 2017–2026

Although 4G represents a viable option for automotive applications, it does not address the low-cost, low-power requirements of the majority of IoT applications. These are addressed by LPWA networks which will emerge at the beginning of the forecast period. While no winning LPWA technology will emerge by the end of the forecast, period NB-IoT will take the largest share.

Note:  This report is delivered as a zip file


Worldwide trends
Worldwide: NB-IoT will be the dominant network for IoT in 2026 with large scale deployments in many markets
Worldwide: NB-IoT constitutes 38% of the total connections in 2026, fuelled by widespread adoption in the Chinese market
Worldwide: Early indicators suggest that NB-IoT will dominate, but will co-exist with other LPWA technologies
Worldwide: Support for various LPWA technologies will prevail, but the market share will change significantly
Worldwide: 2G IoT will gradually decline and is indicative of operator caution in decommissioning 2G networks
Worldwide: 3G/4G will be the dominant network for traditional cellular IoT, largely due to the automotive and transport sectors
Worldwide: North America is the largest IoT market among high - income markets; China dominates with 1.1 billion connections
Western Europe
Western Europe: Diverse LPWA technologies have been deployed; NB-IoT will have the largest share in 2026
Western Europe: Operators do not follow the same LPWA technology adoption path, but take different routes to market
Central and Eastern Europe
Central and Eastern Europe: There have been few high profile LPWA announcements, but NB-IoT is expected to dominate
Central and Eastern Europe: We expect to see similar patterns across CEE countries with regard to NB-IoT penetration
Middle East and North Africa
Middle East and North Africa: Traditional cellular networks (2G and 3G/4G) will be the primary networks for IoT until 2022
Middle East and North Africa: 3G/4G connections will form a greater share of total connections in high-income markets
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa: The number of LPWA connections will grow significantly but IoT will remain a relatively small market
Sub-Saharan Africa: South Africa is the most advanced IoT market and was one of the first to launch a LPWA network
Emerging Asia–Pacific
Emerging Asia–Pacific excluding China: The number of IoT connections will grow with a CAGR of 45%
Emerging Asia–Pacific: China will continue to be the largest IoT market worldwide in 2026
Developed Asia–Pacific
Developed Asia–Pacific: 3G/4G was the main IoT network in 2017 due to the early decommissioning of 2G networks
Developed Asia–Pacific: NB-IoT will dominate but other LPWA networks will make significant progress
North America
North America: LTE-M will be the dominant LPWA technology until 2022 when it will be surpassed by NB-IoT
North America: The USA will be the second largest IoT market after China in 2026 with 814 million IoT connections
Latin America
Latin America: LPWA will drive growth in new sectors and will stimulate demand for IoT
Latin America: The use of 2G in IoT will decrease slowly: NB-IoT and LTE-M will each take a similar share of the market in 2026
Forecast methodology and assumptions
Comparison of the total wireless connections with the previous forecast (2017)
Definitions
Other changes to forecast methodology and assumptions
About the authors and Analysys Mason
About the authors

List of figures:

Figure 1: Total IoT connections by network type, worldwide, 2013–2026
Figure 2: Share of connections by network type, worldwide, 2026
Figure 3: LPWA networks announced by technology type, 2016 versus 2017
Figure 4: Share of LPWA connections by LPWA network type, worldwide, 2026
Figure 5: Planned or completed 2G decommissioning by geography
Figure 6: Share of traditional cellular connections by network type, worldwide, 2026
Figure 7: Total IoT connections (cellular and LPWA) by region, 2026
Figure 8: Total IoT connections by network type, Western Europe, 2013–2026
Figure 9: Share of IoT connections by network type, France and Germany, 2026
Figure 10: NB-IoT share of the total number of LPWA connections, France and Germany, 2016–2026
Figure 11: Total IoT connections by network type, Central and Eastern Europe, 2013–2026
Figure 12: Share of IoT connections by network type, Russia and Turkey, 2026
Figure 13: Total IoT connections by network type, Middle East and North Africa, 2013–2026
Figure 14: Share of IoT connections by network type, Egypt and the UAE, 2026
Figure 15: Total IoT connections by network type, Sub-Saharan Africa, 2013-2026
Figure 16: Share of IoT connections by network type, South Africa, 2026
Figure 17: Total IoT connections by network type, emerging Asia–Pacific, 2013–2026
Figure 18: Share of IoT connections by network type, China, 2026
Figure 19: Net additions by network type, China, 2013–2026
Figure 20: Total IoT connections by network type, developed Asia–Pacific, 2013–2026
Figure 21: Total IoT connections by network type, Australia and Japan, 2013–2026
Figure 22: Total IoT connections by network type, North America, 2013–2026
Figure 23: Total IoT connections by network type, USA, 2026
Figure 24: Net additions by network type, USA, 2013–2026
Figure 25: Total IoT connections by network type, Latin America, 2013–2026
Figure 26: Total IoT connections by network type, Brazil and Mexico, 2026
Figure 27: Previous IoT connections forecast versus new IoT connections forecast

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report