A new study from Juniper Research has found that the global amount of data generated by roaming Internet of Things (IoT) connections will grow from 86 petabytes in 2022 to 1100 petabytes by 2027. That’s enough data to stream 165 million hours of 4K video from platforms like Netflix.
The main driver of this 1140% growth will be the shutdown of 3G networks which will require the use of low power cellular networks. The research found that low-power wide area networks offer a low-cost alternative to large carrier 4G and 5G cellular networks that will drive the growth of IoT roaming connections using low-power, high-penetration coverage.
The report, titled IoT roaming strategies: market forecasts, key opportunities & competitor leaderboard 2022-2027, further revealed that roaming IoT connections from the United States will generate 277 petabytes of data by 2027, or 26% of the global total. With AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon disconnecting their 3G networks in 2022, the report predicts that roaming IoT connections will be redistributed to low-power 4G or 5G extended networks depending on the use case.
Research author Scarlett Woodford said, “US carriers need to adopt the Billing & Charging Evolution protocol to accurately identify IoT traffic based on the network technologies used. If you don’t, you risk losing revenue if lucrative roaming 5G IoT traffic is misidentified as less valuable connectivity.”
Research indicates that only 2% of total IoT roaming connections will be 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.