Even before the world was hit with a pandemic, Internet of Things (IoT) devices were being added at a rapid pace. According to McKinsey, the number of businesses that use IoT technologies increased from 13% in 2014 to about 25% last year. And the worldwide number of IoT-connected devices is projected to increase to 43 billion by 2023.
A recent study published in August explained how IoT can even be used to avoid the spread of COVID-19, revealing that the technology allows the integration of physical devices that can provide real-time health status to doctors, as well as provide a platform so that public health agencies can access the data for monitoring COVID-19.
In the meantime, managed IoT services providers, which control connected device infrastructures and handle some or all of the related tasks, such as data collection and IoT monitoring, continue to expand their reach.
IoT managed service providers have connected more than 50 million IoT subscribers globally, and in Europe and North America, these providers hold a combined market share of 15–20%. Network IoT Managed Services in the USA was a $3.6 billion industry in 2019 and it is expected to surpass $10 billion by 2025.
And now they are working to further aggregate multiple wireless wide area networks (WANs) in an effort to boost area coverage, multi-domestic footprints, and multi-technology connectivity on a single platform.
The major players in the market include Aeris and KORE Wireless, with 14 million and 13 million cellular IoT subscribers respectively at the end of 2019. Sierra Wireless has a subscriber base of 3.6 million IoT connections in both Europe and North America, while Wireless Logic is the largest IoT managed service provider in Europe with around 3.5 million subscribers.
“IoT managed service providers play an increasingly important role in the fast-growing international connectivity segment,” said Fredrik Stålbrand, a Senior Analyst at Berg Insight, in a statement. “Several IoT service providers are leading the commercialization of advanced SIM solutions, based on eUICCs and multi-IMSI SIMs or a combination of the two. These solutions offer an alternative to the roaming model, enabling devices to automatically connect to a local cellular network.”