Infographic: the internet of things is growing

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Infographic: the internet of things is growing

The internet of things IoT is often used as a catch-all phrase to describe the disparate items that use sensors to gather data, from driverless cars to smart cows to connected refrigerators to robotic factories.

Demand for 5 G networks is increasing due to the adoption of IoT technology into data-intensive tasks, such as remote monitoring, diagnostics and healthcare.

A more sophisticated world of IoT technology has emerged due to the growing prevalence of 5 G, which offers more speed, control and security than older networks.

The growth in automation, which has accelerated during the Pandemic, has turned IoT into a potentially big business.

Vodafone, the telecoms group that has long targeted IoT as a potential growth driver, said this month that it has increased the number of IoT SIM cards from 112 m to 136 m over the past year, making it the largest global connectivity provider. The figure is growing at double-digit rates, and the IoT generates almost €1 billion a year in revenue for the UK-listed company.

Nick Read, Chief Executive of Vodafone, said that the group's IoT focus is on scaling those businesses to continue to capture growth.

The new data from Omdia, a technology consultancy, shows more companies embracing the Internet of Things, a picture of a booming IoT market.

The IoT Enterprise Survey found that more than 70 percent of companies expected the technology to be an important factor for their businesses over the next 18 months, according to the IoT Enterprise Survey. Roughly half said the pandemic had accelerated their IoT plans, while almost two-thirds said they would spend up to $5 m on their IoT strategies.

Joshua Builta, IoT research director at Omdia, said that the massive disruption created by Covid-19 has resulted in increased enterprise demand for IoT solutions, which in many cases have allowed these businesses to maintain operations and ensure the safety of their employees.

It has had a knock-on effect on the consumer market.

Paul Lee, head of telecoms, media and technology research at Deloitte, says that every year we connect more devices, at higher speeds, with more powerful processors.

He says the benefits of connected devices are simply and significantly to make our lives easier. A robot vacuum removes a chore, connecting this device allows it to learn from its mistakes. The pandemic is likely to spur more growth in smart TVs, according to Omdia. TVs had been a low-growth segment of the consumer electronics market in recent years, but smart sets became a digital hearth for many households during the Pandemic. According to analysts, increased viewing of streaming video services may encourage consumers to upgrade to newer smart TVs.

There is likely to be less movement in the smartphone market, according to Omdia forecasts. Growth opportunities will be driven by the collapse of Huawei's market share and the exit of LG, as opposed to higher demand for 5G phones.

China, the US and Germany are expected to record the highest levels of growth in the IoT in the coming years due to advances in industrial automation in sectors including automotive and healthcare. Omdia believes that China will have an installed base of 1.8 billion IoT devices by 2025, compared to 250 m devices in the US.

Some people are expecting a more muted performance in the short term. Dean Bubley, founder of tech consultancy Disruptive Analysis, says healthcare, logistics, warehousing and data centres have increased their scale during the epidemic to embrace automation.

Hotels and live entertainment sectors have undershot their expectations as they were affected by a lock-in. Growth could be hampered by the supply chain-led shortage of semiconductors.

Growth will continue to be patchy and inconsistent for at least another year, as the world recovers from the Pandemic, and the IoT is now facing the barrel of semiconductor supply-chain constraints, so growth will continue to be patchy and inconsistent for at least another year, Bubley warns.