According to a study by analyst firm Berg Insight, worldwide deliveries of NB-IoT equipment reached 53 million units in 2018. Annual sales are expected to almost triple to 142 million units in 2019.
However, commercial deployments to date have been limited mainly to China, where semiconductor companies HiSilicon and MediaTek account for a large proportion of the NB-IoT modem volume. "Deliveries of NB-IoT devices to the European and North American markets will start rapidly over the next 18 months," said Fredrik Stalbrand, senior analyst at Berg Insight. "While the first deployments so far have focused on traditional industries such as smart metering, we expect NB-IoT to be integrated into a broader range of products from 2019 to 2020, including household appliances, door locks and smoke alarms.
The transition from 2G to 4G is a global trend for Berg Insight, accelerated by NB-IoT. The major North American carriers were late adopters of the technology, but are now adding or at least testing NB-IoT in their networks as a complement to LTE-M. The technology is now also being used by the major North American carriers to add NB-IoT to their networks. T-Mobile was the first to introduce an NB-IoT service in 2018, followed by Verizon and AT&T in the first half of 2019.
In Europe, mobile operators are making good progress with NB-IoT coverage: Vodafone is a leader in the development of NB-IoT and will introduce commercial services across all its networks by 2020. By the end of 2018, the operator had deployed NB-IoT services in eleven countries, including Germany, Italy, the UK, Spain and the Netherlands. Deutsche Telekom started operations in Germany and the Netherlands in mid-2017 and offered coverage in five other countries at the end of 2018. Telefónica launched its first NB-IoT networks in Spain and Germany. Other mobile operators offering NB-IoT in the region are Orange in Belgium, TIM in Italy, MTS in Russia, Telia and Telenor in the Nordic countries and a number of national mobile operators. Australia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey and the UAE are other examples of countries where network services are available.
Berg Insight AB