India Forecast to Register Highest Growth in IoT Module Shipments: Counterpoint

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Chinese players Quectel, Sunsea and Fibocom are expected to hold nearly 45 per cent share in the cellular IoT module shipments in 2024

Global cellular IoT module shipments will cross 780 million units in 2024 to reach $11.5 billion in revenues, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Global Cellular IoT Module and Chipset Forecast. The COVID-19 outbreak and recent supply shortages in semiconductor material have adversely affected the cellular module market. However, the pandemic has accelerated the pace of IoT adoption, with organizations prioritizing it as a path towards digitalization.

“The growth of NB-IoT will keep China ahead of other regions in the cellular IoT module market. However, India is expected to experience the highest growth (38 per cent) in shipments,” explained Counterpoint Research’s associate director Jan Stryjak.

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He added, “The commercial deployment of NB-IoT by the country’s major telecom operators, such as Jio, Vi, Airtel and BSNL, will help usher growth in cellular module shipments in India. North America will emerge as the second largest region in this market by surpassing Europe. 5G module shipments will start picking up in developed countries like the US, Japan and South Korea while the Middle East and Africa, Russia, India and other Asian countries will bet on lower-cost LPWA technologies (LTE-M and NB-IoT).”

Chinese holding the share

Chinese players Quectel, Sunsea and Fibocom are expected to hold nearly 45 per cent share in the cellular IoT module shipments in 2024. Neoway and Meig are the dark horses in this market and projected to increase share. NB-IoT will lead the cellular IoT module shipments by 2024, followed by 4G and 5G. LTE-M will have a lower market share due to good presence only in North America, Japan and Australia.

Counterpoint Research’s client services and consulting director Rick Cui notes, “After becoming successful in the homegrown Chinese market, these brands are entering other regions with a wide range of products, and cloud services. The complete product offerings from modules to cloud services will help in the growth of these module vendors.”

5G is expected to overtake 4G revenue by 2022 as 5G network deployments around the world are increasing while the average selling price (ASP) is decreasing. This trend of reducing 5G module prices will help in faster transition to 5G technology from 3G and 4G.

“The NB-IoT module ASP is expected to fall below $3 by 2024. But still, the 2G module ASP will be lower than the NB-IoT module ASP. As major telecom operators are shutting down 2G/3G networks in a phased manner, 2G will be replaced by NB-IoT while 3G will be replaced by LTE Cat 1 and 5G depending on applications,” noted research analyst Soumen Mandal.

Qualcomm is expected to hold nearly half of the global cellular IoT chipset market by 2024. With its leadership in 5G market, supply shortages being faced by Hisilicon and sanctions imposed by the US, Qualcomm, as per the report is going to maintain its legacy in this market.

Neil Shah, VP, Counterpoint said “The strengthening partnerships with long-tail module vendors like Gosuncn, MobileTek, AM Telecom, Cheerzing, USR (WenHeg), Wutong (Broadmobi), Yuge Technology and Wistron NeWeb are also helping Qualcomm to increase its market share. Mediatek recently launched 5G-powered T700 and T750 chipsets targeting the PC and FWA router segments respectively.”

He added, “We may witness strong competition between Qualcomm and Mediatek for the 5G cellular IoT chipset market, just as we see in the smartphone chipset market. Unisoc is targeting NB-IoT-based applications like smart meter and telematics, and may emerge as the leading player in the NB-IoT chipset market in China next year.”

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