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Healthy Industrial Growth: ABI Research Underpins Demand for Private Cellular IoT/IIoT Connections as Markets Adapt

By Alex Passett
April 30, 2024

Yesterday on IoT Evolution World, we covered IoT market wins and setbacks that industry experts have seen over the past few years (in addition forecasted data regarding global IoT adoptions, as a whole). The data from AltIndex and Statista Market Insights was quite interesting; read that story in full here.

Today, let’s talk about IIoT; specifically, private cellular IoT/IIoT connection data and short-term predictions for key manufacturing sectors.

According to tech intelligence firm ABI Research, mission-critical use cases driving private IoT connection growth (and IIoT use cases, in tow) are growing more eager to digitalize operations with high-powered, dedicated networks. The demand is real. This, per ABI, means that industrial markets like manufacturing – plus transportation and logistics – will have “the most private cellular IoT connections in the future, with 108 and 71 million connections, respectively, predicted in 2030.”

But what’s defined as “mission-critical” here, exactly? Well, dominant IIoT use cases involve the automation of heavy machinery in mining and manufacturing, replacing legacy networks in oil and gas, and tracking containers in ports. Each of these examples requires an ultra-reliable network, a sub-topic on which ABI Research’s IoT Networks & Services Analyst Lizzie Stokes provided commentary.

“Ultra-reliable connectivity is a must,” she stated. “Any interruption in IIoT operations could lead to significant revenue loss or, worse yet, threaten human lives. Given these consequences, most mission-critical IIoT customers upgrading to wireless connectivity will choose a private cellular network.”

Hence, the demand.

Stokes commented further, saying “Heavy machinery automation, in particular, calls for the performance and low latency of a private 5G network. Industrial customers often initially invest in a private cellular network to connect employees' communication devices, such as smartphones or tablets, but eventually realize the value these networks can provide in more critical IoT applications.”

As for organizations jumping on this demand, take private wireless vendors like Ericsson or Nokia. Each boasts team that remain laser-focused on industrial customers and the criticality of their unique connectivity needs.

“Criticality is another key word here,” Stokes said, wrapping up. “The ideal private network connectivity technology for any IoT/IIoT use case will largely depend on this criticality. However, all important ‘of Things’ verticals — from healthcare to manufacturing — will experience healthy growth in private cellular IoT connections from 2025 to 2030, underscoring this relatively new technology's influence even in applications that heavily rely on non-cellular technologies."

To learn more from ABI Research’s extensive research – in this article’s case, its Use Cases for Private Wireless Networks in IoT application analysis report – read here.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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