A recent study from Juniper Research, a leading authority in telecommunications markets research, predicts a 560% global upswing in low-power Internet of Things (IoT) roaming connections by 2028. The number of connections is expected to increase from 90 million in 2023 to over 490 million by 2028. These low-power networks, such as NB-IoT (Narrowband-IoT) and LTE-M (Long-term Evolution for Machines), serve to connect devices and sensors over cellular networks for remote environmental monitoring in sectors such as smart cities, agriculture, and manufacturing.
This significant growth is projected to occur over the next five years and will be primarily propelled by an increase in bilateral roaming agreements created specifically for these low-power devices. Juniper Research, however, raises concern that operators may not be fully prepared to capitalise on this market shift and the considerable roaming revenue that is expected to emerge.
One crucial technical challenge that operators currently face is their inefficiency in detecting low-power devices that roam onto their networks. This inefficiency leads to lost potential revenue from these undetected devices. Because these devices have a low data usage and intermittent connectivity, constant network monitoring is required to fully maximise roaming revenue. Hence, it is recommended that operators partner with vendors capable of offering AI-based roaming detection services.
These services would automate the continuous assessment of all roaming connections on a network, enabling the identification of low-power devices that sporadically roam onto networks. Alex Webb, Research author at Juniper, remarked, "Operators must fully leverage the insights gained from AI-based detection tools to introduce premium billing of roaming connections to further maximise roaming revenue. This must be done by implementing roaming agreements that price roaming connectivity on network resources used and time connected to the network."
The study in question provides an extensive analysis of the IoT roaming market, including in-depth forecasts for 60 countries. This comprehensive research suite houses over 22,300 market statistics within a five-year period and presents a Competitor Leaderboard. The wealth of data contained allows for a detailed study of current and potential future market opportunities.