According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s global cellular internet of things (IoT) module and chipset forecast, the global cellular IoT module shipments will cross 780 million units in 2024 to reach $11.5 billion in revenues.

The COVID-19 outbreak and recent supply shortages in semiconductor material have adversely affected the cellular module market. However, the pandemic has accelerated the pace of IoT adoption, with organisations prioritising it as a path towards digitalization, Counterpoint said. Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) will lead the cellular IoT module shipments by 2024, followed by 4G and 5G. Long-term evolution for machines (LTE-M) will have a lower market share due to good presence only in North America, Japan and Australia.

Commenting on regional dynamics, Associate Director Jan Stryjak said, “The growth of NB-IoT will keep China ahead of other regions in the cellular IoT module market. However, India is expected to experience the highest growth (38 per cent) in shipments. The commercial deployment of NB-IoT by the country’s major telecom operators, such as Jio, Vi, Airtel and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), will help usher growth in cellular module shipments in India. North America will emerge as the second largest region in this market by surpassing Europe. 5G module shipments will start picking up in developed countries like the US, Japan and South Korea while the Middle East and Africa, Russia, India and other Asian countries will bet on lower-cost LPWA technologies (LTE-M and NB-IoT).”

Meanwhile, Counterpoint’s Vice-President Research Neil Shah noted, “Qualcomm is expected to hold nearly half of the global cellular IoT chipset market by 2024. With its leadership in 5G market, supply shortages being faced by Hisilicon and sanctions imposed by the US, Qualcomm is going to maintain its legacy in this market. We may witness strong competition between Qualcomm and Mediatek for the 5G cellular IoT chipset market, just as we see in the smartphone chipset market.”