Analyst firm Omdia believes satellite-connected IoT devices will get to “more than 10 million” by 2025, according to its recently released Omni Satellite IoT Market Report – 2020 document. The installed base of satellite IoT connections is expected to increase by a nearly a factor of four in the coming years, growing at a 25 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2.7 million units in 2019 to 10.3 million units in 2025.
“The IoT’s conquest of space has gained momentum in recent years, with the launch of several high-profile ventures as part of the ‘NewSpace’ movement, involving the development of the private spaceflight industry,” said Sam Lucero, senior principal analyst, IoT, Omdia.
Market revenue is predicted to more than double during the same period, with the global satellite IoT connectivity business more than doubling to $544 million in 2025, up from $233 million in 2019. Growth is expected in “critical use cases” for various verticals, such as the maritime and energy sectors. The device growth estimates only apply to directly-connected devices and gateway and don’t count the “potentially hundreds or thousands of devices” behind each gateway.
The Omdia report notes operators are exploring new approaches to connecting IoT devices, including using existing terrestrial IoT standards such as LoRaWAN, NB-IoT, and LTE-M in place of proprietary closed network technologies. Adoption of terrestrial wireless technologies by the satellite industry is expected to have a 10 to 15 year impact on the satellite IoT industry with the distinction between a satellite IoT device and a terrestrial IoT device to “cease” with any device having embedded mobile connectivity capable of roaming onto satellite networks when out of range of terrestrial infrastructure.
The most notable point about the Omdia report is that is it done from an IoT applications perspective rather than from a satellite viewpoint. Cellular carriers and enterprises are looking for IoT-based solutions to global coverage, not working from a satellite solution for IoT.