NB-IoT, LTE-M Setbacks Drive Growth of LoRa, Sigfox, Says ABI Research

June 6, 2019 Brandon Lewis

ABI Research projects that LoRa and Sigfox will continue to capture the majority of Low-Power, Wide-Area (LPWA) connections through 2024 due to setbacks in NB-IoT and LTE-M cellular technologies. The research finds that by 2026 NB-IoT and LTE-M should capture more than 60 percent of the 3.6 billion LPWA-socket market, while LoRa and Sigfox will account for more than 35 percent of the remaining LPWA connections.

ABI cites complications with NB-IoT and LTE-M network hardware and connectivity modules as reasons for the technologies’ delayed market share capture. For example, uncertainty still remains around the use of eSIM or iSIM cards and how NB-IoT and LTE-M will be folded into 5G standards.

“This short-term uncertainty has delayed the commercial rollout of cellular LPWA IoT solutions by 12 to 18 months,” according to Adarsh Krishnan, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “But it has also benefited Sigfox and LoRa, as both have witnessed a substantial increase in adoption from device OEMs and IoT solution vendors.”

LoRa exhibited 75 percent year-over-year growth in 2018, benefitting from the technology’s ability to be used in private networks, managed public networks, or both. In 2026, ABI predicts the technology will own the majority of non-cellular LPWA connections.

Sigfox owned the second largest share of the public LPWA market in 2018 thanks to a large footprint in Europe. By 2026, it is estimated that more than 430 million endpoints will connect using the technology.

APAC accounted for 40 percent of global LPWA connections in 2018, and nearly 97 percent of all NB-IoT connections.

For more information on ABI Research’s 2019 Low-Power Wide Area Network Market Data report, visit www.abiresearch.com/market-research/product/1032117-low-power-wide-area-network-market-data.

About the Author

Brandon Lewis

Brandon Lewis, Editor-in-Chief of Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for guiding the property's content strategy, editorial direction, and engineering community engagement, which includes IoT Design, Automotive Embedded Systems, the Power Page, Industrial AI & Machine Learning, and other publications. As an experienced technical journalist, editor, and reporter with an aptitude for identifying key technologies, products, and market trends in the embedded technology sector, he enjoys covering topics that range from development kits and tools to cyber security and technology business models. Brandon received a BA in English Literature from Arizona State University, where he graduated cum laude. He can be reached by email at brandon.lewis@opensysmedia.com.

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