China Mobile IoT Connection Reaches Nearly 95 Million
As the “interconnection of everything” becomes a reality, China is playing a critical role. Its growing cellular IoT market is an example of this, and NB-IoT has also begun to gain ground in the country. In this article, we’ll explore the future of cellular IoT in China and how NB-IoT is making its way into the mainstream.
China’s role in building the “interconnection of everything”
China’s 5G development is expected to drive investment in network construction worth 1.2 trillion RMB by 2025. Yet, the country still has a long way to go before 5G is fully adopted and used. Unlike 4G, 5G has limited signal coverage and requires a base station network that is four to five times denser. With 5.44 million base stations, China has quite a bit of work ahead of it.
The country’s 5G innovation has been accompanied by its central leadership’s push for a green economy. China’s government is encouraging companies to build more energy-efficient 5G networks to reach its carbon neutral goal. However, the country has faced certain challenges when building 5G networks, including the state spectrum monopolies that have hindered private networks.
According to a recent report by CounterPointTR, cumulative NB-IoT connections in China reached nearly 95 million in 2019, and the upward trend is set to continue. By 2022, this number will rise to 400 million. The market for NB-IoT is expected to grow at 150% CAGR during that time. Ultimately, NB-IoT is expected to become an integral part of IMT-2020, which will address the burgeoning need for low-bandwidth connections.
While 3G networks are essential for a few key applications, 4G and 5G networks will offer much more flexibility for the next-generation of IoT. These advanced networks will enable reliable, low-latency connections for IoT devices, as well as increased data transmission speeds. The future of cellular IoT connectivity is bright. Huawei estimates that 100 billion cellular IoT connections will be available globally in 2020.
While China’s influence on the IoT is becoming increasingly important, other nations are increasingly concerned about risks and security issues related to their own connections to Chinese networks. Several concerns over the CCP’s values and methods are already spilling over into debates about Chinese firms in the 5G network and Chinese actors in technical standardization.