4G is the Primary Technology in 60% of Today’s Cellular IoT Module Models

New research tracks 1,185 IoT cellular module models providing a product database of unprecedented depth and breadth
15 Jun 2022

Global technology intelligence firm ABI Research is continuing to actively monitor the development and launch of cellular IoT modules. Its latest information highlights offerings from 54 vendors, collating all available information about their portfolios into a single central repository to offer a thorough overview of everything that is available. The report provides information about each vendor, with product technology information, spectrum information, and now also baseband modem chipset information, including the manufacturer and the modem model itself.

This edition contains information on 1,185 IoT module models from the 54 vendors that have been tracked. “5G continues to be a niche in the IoT space, though module vendors are growing their 5G product portfolios. We have discovered 75 5G cellular IoT module models currently in-market, compared to just 45 in the previous edition of our report 6 months earlier,” Harriet Sumnall, Research Analyst at ABI Research says. “5G is still in its earliest stages of adoption in the IoT, and therefore it’s not utilized in many use cases outside of the automotive space and fixed wireless markets.”

4G modules continue to form the largest category, and 4G is the most common cellular technology used in new IoT module product launches. “This is to be expected, thanks to the widespread availability of 4G leading it to be the natural choice for mid-to-long term future proofing of wireless wide-area connectivity in IoT devices,” Sumnall explains. 4G boasts more than 630 supported module models, which is over 50% of all module products, past and present, catalogued by ABI Research. Furthermore, 4G is the primary technology found in 60% of all currently available models, not including LTE-M or NB-IoT, and not as use for 5G fallback.

An analysis of baseband modem chipset information has also been revealed for a total of 756 module models. 523, or 69%, of those module models contain a Qualcomm chipset. “Baseband modem information is not yet available for all the 1,185 module models we have catalogued; however, we were able to successfully identify the chipsets in a significant portion. It is unsurprising to also note that 2G and 3G module development has now all but ceased although sales of legacy models will persist for a few more years. 2G and 3G’s place will be taken by LTE-M and Cat.1, but the big question is what role can 5G modules play within the IoT mass market.”

These finding are from ABI Research’s IoT Cellular Module Model Tracker market data report. This report is part of the company’s IoT Hardware and Devices research service, which includes research, data, and analyst Insights. Market Data spreadsheets are composed of deep data, market share analysis, and highly segmented, service-specific forecasts to provide detailed insight about where opportunities lie.


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