Mobile phones today represent the biggest slice of the connected-devices cake. At the end of 2015, more than 7.1 billion mobile phones interacted with each other.  By 2021, this number will peak at almost 9 billion.

By 2018, the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts that the cake will look slightly different. Mobile phones will be surpassed by IoT devices, which include connected cars, machines, utility meters, remote metering and consumer electronics. Of the 28 billion connected devices forecasted by 2021, 16 billion will be related to IoT.

Open data Economic Impact

The geography of IoT

In absolute terms, with almost five billion connected devices, Asia Pacific will be the most represented region. It is Western Europe, though, that will add the most connections between 2015 and 2021. Driven by the uptake of connected cars, Western Europe will quadruple the number of its IoT devices, jumping from one to four billion. With almost three billion devices, North America follows in third place.

Massive IoT connections and Critical IoT connections

The report identifies two major emerging markets, each one with different requirements: massive and critical applications.

Examples of massive applications include smart buildings, transport logistics, fleet management, smart meters and agriculture. All of these are characterised by the need for high connection volumes, low cost, low energy consumption and small data traffic volumes.

Critical IoT connections, instead, require ultra-reliability and availability, with very low latency. This category includes traffic safety applications, driverless cars, industrial applications, remote manufacturing and healthcare applications.

We will soon live in a world in which every device will be able to interact with one another, exchange information and produce actionable knowledge. To manage these major transformations, we need scalable, versatile, energy efficient and hyper-connected infrastructure. Thanks to Bristol Is Open, Bristol is looking forward to to welcoming a smarter, interconnected future.


Simone Grassi, Bristol Is Open
Photo credits: Ubaían on Flickr