Wireless Mesh, LPWA and Location Services Drive WSN Chipset Shipments to 3.4 Billion in 2023
San Diego, California, May 22, 2018—Wireless sensor networking (WSN) has removed the barriers to entry for Internet of Things (IoT) development and is a key differentiator for an increasing number of organizations, according to the latest report from global IoT research firm ON World.
“Today, organizations without an IoT strategy are at a significant competitive disadvantage,” said Mareca Hatler, ON World’s director of research. “WSNs increase operational efficiency, scalability, asset visibility and provide new analytic insights into complex processes.”
By 2023, there will be 3.4 billion annual WSN chipset shipments worldwide up from 1 billion in 2018. Short range technologies such as 802.15.4, Bluetooth, WiFi and proprietary make up over 90% of today’s shipments but LPWA networks including Sigfox, LoRa® and NB-IoT growth rates are increasing faster. Within the next five years, 3 in 5 WSN chipsets will be used for location related services including proximity sensing as well as asset tracking and locating.
ON World’s report focuses on three primary WSN technology variations:
Wireless Mesh Sensor Networks
Annual shipments of wireless mesh sensor nodes will increase by 560% over the next five years. With 500 million installed mesh devices, IEEE 802.15.4 has the largest share of the market today using protocols such as Zigbee, Thread, Wi-SUN, WirelessHART and ISA100 Wireless. Bluetooth mesh developers are aggressively targeting smart homes and buildings, smart cities, retail, healthcare operations as well as industrial and logistics applications.
Over the next five years, Bluetooth Low Energy chipset shipments for sensor network markets will increase 3X faster than the overall Bluetooth LE market.
Wireless mesh network protocols are provided by over half of the 67 low power wireless chipset and module suppliers ON World contacted and analyzed for this report. Innovations for wireless mesh sensor networks continues to grow such as the network agnostic wireless mesh platform by CyanConnode, ultra-long range wireless mesh systems using LoRa® by Chess Wire and decentralized, radio-agnostic wireless mesh networks by Wirepas.
Location-Aware Personal Area Networks
By 2023, 2.5 billion cumulative personal area wearables devices such as fitness/health trackers and smartwatches will be sold worldwide. These mobile PAN devices will increasingly be location aware using GPS and/or Bluetooth beacons.
Bluetooth location services has emerged as one of the largest IoT developer opportunities in 2018. IoT data analytics platforms such as IBM’s Watson IoT, Intel’s Retail Sensor Platform and GE Predix are increasingly using Bluetooth beacons for high-value enterprise applications such as retail point-of-interest messaging, real-time coupons, wayfinding, workflow optimization and asset tracking.
Bluetooth beacons are used by retail chains and brands such as Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and Coca Cola; numerous sports/event venues such as the Mobile World Congress conference, Detroit Auto Show and Levi Stadium in San Francisco; and a growing number of commercial and industrial companies.
Low Power Wide Area Networks
Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks solve many of the challenges associated with wireless mesh sensor networks by creating multi-mile star networks where the complexity of the network and application reside on an in-premises or cloud network server. LPWA networks such as LoRaWAN™ provide geolocation and roaming capabilities to complement or replace GPS that lower service fees for tracking, locating and monitoring of people, animals, vehicles, bicycles and other mobile assets.
ON World’s analysis of nearly 100 LPWA network operators found that two-thirds provide networks such as Sigfox or LoRaWAN that use unlicensed spectrum. However, the pace of activity for NB-IoT has accelerated over the past 18 months. Today, 1 in 4 LPWA operators provide or are planning NB-IoT networks and there are over a dozen NB-IoT chipset suppliers from a small handful two years ago.
For more information about ON World’s report, “WSN Markets,” go to: https://www.onworld.com/wsn
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