IoT Trends to Watch in 2022
Internet of Things (IoT) has been a popular technological trend over the last decade. The term IoT first being introduced in 1999, it did not accelerate in popularity until 2010/11 and only reached mass market in 2014. But the IoT connection predictions have been mostly overhyped, predicting between 25 to 50 billion connected devices before the end of 2020. In 2021 there were 14.6 billion IoT connections, including cellular IoT (1.9B), wide-area IoT (2.1B) and short-range IoT (12.5B). The market is expected to exceed 30 billion, growing 13% (CAGR) annually and reaching 30.2B IoT connections by 2027.*
The global Covid-19 pandemic forcing lockdowns early 2020 and still a major factor in our daily lives has accelerated the digital transformation significantly. In this rapid digitalization era companies are looking for ways to innovate and offer better services as well as save money. IoT has benefited from this major force as well. IoT is being increasingly adopted by companies to innovate. Thanks to the major investments in cloud technologies, even mission critical systems can be moved to cloud, now being dominated by a handful hyperscale ecosystem providers.
With the digital transformation wind behind the IoT growth, let’s look at some immediate trends that will shape the market in 2022.
1. Shift to “Hyperscalers”
The shift to cloud for IT has been dominated by hyperscalers. Industry 4.0 requires the full digitization of production processes and enterprise workflows, hence increasingly IoT implementations are also now shifting towards these hyperscalers as scalability and robustness becomes a major requirement for these applications. IoT deployments are becoming more sophisticated and large scale. These complex applications need more data processing power as well as advanced tools such as analytics, AI & ML. Hyperscalers provide low-cost on-boarding, scalable software tools and robust management platforms.
AWS, Microsoft and Google has been investing heavily and dominating the hyperscalers market. Increasingly more players are trying to imitate the hyperscalers to provide these advantages. But the leaders will continue to maintain their grip and drive the market.
2. Surge in Utilities, Logistics and Asset Tracking will drive adoption of LwM2M
In the manufacturing domain MQTT protocol has been used predominantly for IoT connectivity. MQTT is a TCP based protocol, which has a persistent connection and allows industrial applications that require acknowledgements to function more reliably. LwM2M is, however, a UDP based protocol and has much lower overhead (up to 95%).
LwM2M works quite well in lightweight applications, such as energy, utilities (smart meters), asset tracking and logistics. While LwM2M will not replace MQTT, a surge in such applications will drive the adoption of LwM2M. LwM2M will also benefit from the evolution of the Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN), both on unlicensed spectrum, e.g. LoRaWAN, and licensed spectrum, e.g. NB-IoT and Cat-M, which provide lower data packet transmission loss compared to MQTT.
3. Mobile Edge Computing (MEC)
As the IoT solutions get more complicated, data processing becomes an important function of the implementation. Specifically, where the data processing takes place is a key consideration. To optimize applications, data processing can be pushed to the edge which requires more computing power at the edge. For some use cases, especially when real-time response is crucial, it is necessary to have the data processing and data storage to be near the application and end-device, cutting the round-trip delay time to the cloud. Although this is in contrast to the cloud-computing, Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) has seen an increasing demand.
Hyperscalers are also extending their capabilities to the edge, which will be the next frontier for the dominant players.
4. Mobile Private Networks (MPN)
5G deployments are increasing every year and by 2027 it is expected to cover 75% of the world’s population. 5G New Radio (NR) promises high throughput, low latency and large data volumes. While the push to deploy 5G globally continues, 2022 might not be the year that IoT applications shifts to 5G. Massive IoT technologies (i.e., NB-IoT and Cat-M), which are primarily low on complexity, low-cost devices with long battery life and low throughput are expected to grow at a higher rate than broadband IoT next few years.
Private implementations of 4G/5G are ready to take advantage of these massive IoT technologies. The spectrum allocated for Mobile Private Networks (MPN) will create a more immediate demand in 2022. And, this demand will most likely come from factories, warehouses and ports.
5. The Emergence of Satellite
As the need for IoT becomes global for applications such as asset tracking, logistics and even smart agriculture in very rural areas, global network coverage becomes a necessity. Since the early 1990s deployment of low earth orbiting satellites (LEO) initially launched by Motorola backed Iridium, satellite coverage has been an intriguing venture. With the cost base of launching the LEO satellites now much lower, interest has been growing in these ventures and a bunch of companies are going after this satellite IoT market. Although 2022 will not be the year that satellite IoT will become mass market, we expect to see satellite emerging as an alternative to the IoT needs of the geographically remote areas.
6. Unlicensed LPWAN National Networks
As the need for low power and low cost IoT devices emerged before the licensed wireless technologies matured, we saw several unlicensed technologies emerge to fill the need. SigFox and LoRa are commonly recognized as being two of the most prolific. While the unlicensed technologies were being deployed in controlled private networks at the beginning of their lifecycle, we have seen a shift over time toward more National deployments. Interoperability between networks was seen as problematic and often viewed as a downside of LoRa vs. the licensed spectrum or the traditional 2G,3G, 4G LTE networks.
This year we will continue to see build out and accelerated adoption of National LoRa networks such as the Everynet’s U.S. National Network which satisfies the long-standing need of a unlicensed LPWAN network in the US. At the same time the LoRa Alliance has continued to release technology improvements which promise easier transition of devices from network to network in order to solve some of the highest volume use cases within asset tracking.
7. Low Code / No Code
Implementing enterprise focused IoT centric solutions means rapid integration of IoT Sensor Data into the markets most prolific enterprise applications. IoT can no longer stand along in the in vertical stove piped applications. As such IoT integration and rapid solution development is driving the demand for easy-to-use Low Code solutions which can be quickly and easily used by developers who may not have deep IoT device and network understanding. Mass adoption of IoT demands that every developer should have access to real time IoT information without the pre-requisite IoT deep knowledge. Low Code and No Code solution integration is here today and here to stay.
Here at Tartabit we keep our eyes on the market and work to deliver solutions that accelerate LPWA IoT adoption. Our goal is to make it easier for you to achieve your IoT project goals. Keep a look out for deeper dives into some of the most relevant trends and find out how Tartabit services and customers are putting our tech to work. Please subscribe to LPWA IoT Insights or keep watch for at www.tartabit.com to get the most up to date LPWA IoT Insights.