Western IoT Module Vendors Reduce Portfolio Sizes

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4Q 2022 | IN-6697

Internet of Things (IoT) hardware vendors Thales and Sierra Wireless reduce their IoT cellular module portfolios as acquisitions are announced.

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Module Market Consolidation Continues


Thales and Sierra Wireless are both Internet of Things (IoT) hardware manufacturers that have been present in the IoT news space in recent months with the acquisition of Thales IoT hardware portfolio by Telit and the acquisition by Semtech Corporation of Sierra Wireless. It has not gone unnoticed that both vendors have reduced the sizes of their IoT cellular module catalogs significantly. Thales has reduced its module portfolio by 31 module models (regional variants included), while Sierra Wireless has reduced its vast catalog by 23 module models.

Combining Businesses for Smaller Catalogs


For Sierra Wireless specifically, its significantly sized portfolio was a huge addition to the Semtech Corporation’s overall portfolio. Prior to this strategic acquisition, the semiconductor manufacturer did not have a cellular module catalog to offer customers. The move by the IoT module hardware manufacturer is a slight shock with a majority of the recently unavailable module models being those for 4G connectivity.

Thales has also reduced its product catalog. Unlike Sierra Wireless, it had a large combination of a variety of different technology-enabling cellular modules, including Low Power Wide Area (LPWA), 4G, and the older generations of 2G and 3G.

The Future of IoT Hardwarea More Consolidated Market?


It is not uncommon for IoT cellular module vendors to minimize their portfolios for the older generations, such as 2G and 3G, due to the network closures that are in the process of happening, and for some network deployments that are already complete. The downsizing of both 4G and LPWA catalogs for both vendors, however, is an interesting and uncommon finding within the IoT cellular module market.

The IoT hardware market, specifically modules, is currently going through a consolidation phase, in general, with Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) taking place, so it is unsurprising that portfolio consolidations are taking place. Many of the offerings from both hardware manufacturers have module model families are split between global variants and regional variants for several of the discontinued modules; therefore, it is likely they are streamlining their portfolios to only offer global offerings, rather than regional-specific module models.

ABI Research will continue to monitor the catalogs of IoT module vendors as IoT Cellular Modules Model Tracker (MD-ICM-102) product is further developed. It will be interesting to monitor, with further acquisitions likely to take place in the market, if module model catalogs are also being consolidated. It is encouraging that vendors’ portfolios are being streamlined, because a number of module models are available that can be used in a variety of end-market applications. With more and more capabilities of modules becoming available as the technological landscape evolves, it will be interesting to see how other vendors proceed when managing their portfolios.


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