The global amount of data generated by roaming IoT connections will grow from 86 petabytes in 2022 to 1,100 petabytes by 2027, enough data to stream 165 million hours of 4K video from Netflix, according to Juniper Research.

The 1,140% growth will be driven by the shutdown of 3G networks, requiring the adoption of low-power cellular networks.

Research has found that low-power wide area networks offer a low-cost alternative to established carrier-led cellular networks such as 4G and 5G, driving the growth of IoT roaming connections through low-power coverage and strong penetration.

Roaming IoT connections use wireless services outside of their registered carrier’s network, Juniper Research said.

The United States offers key growth opportunities for IoT roaming
Roaming IoT connections from the US will generate 277 petabytes of data by 2027, contributing 26% of the global total.






With AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon terminating 3G networks this year, the study predicts that roaming IoT connections will be redistributed to low-power extended 4G or 5G networks depending on the use case.

“U.S. carriers must adopt the Evolution Billing and Billing Protocol to accurately identify IoT traffic based on network technologies. If you don’t, you risk losing revenue if lucrative IoT traffic in 5G roaming is misidentified as lower value connectivity,” explained the author and principal analyst at Juniper Research. Scarlett Woodford.

5G connectivity limited to high-value IoT roaming use cases
The research noted that only 2% of total IoT roaming connections will rely on 5G networks by 2027 due to the low power consumption and infrequent data transmission of the majority of devices.

He found that only use cases dependent on low-latency, high-speed data downloads, such as self-driving vehicles and connected factories, will justify enterprise investment in 5G connectivity.

This first appeared in the CommsWire subscription newsletter on August 11, 2022.

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