Automotive NAD Module Market Sees Slow Growth in Q3 2021 Due to Tight Supply Chain

  • Rolling Wireless led the cellular NAD module market, capturing nearly 30% revenue share.
  • Qualcomm maintained its dominant position in NAD connectivity.
  • Focus and demand for 5G C-V2X integrated modules rising.

San Diego, Buenos Aires, London, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul – January 6, 2021

Global automotive NAD (network access device) module revenue remained flat sequentially in Q3 2021, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Global Automotive NAD Module and Chipset Tracker. However, the revenue grew 25% YoY due to rising shipments of 5G and 4G Other cellular technology supported modules. NAD modules perform similar functions in terms of connectivity as IoT modules except that they are designed, optimized and configured for automotive-grade applications. Being traditionally embedded in the Telematics Control Unit (TCU), NAD modules help with network access and communication of relevant telemetry data, based on which the TCU can perform safety and convenience related actions. They also help in fleet management applications. We could see the evolution of the NAD module deployment in the car with the evolution of vehicle architecture with broader connectivity (e.g., 5G V2X), autonomous capability (ADAS L3+) and electrification.

In terms of regional demand, China contributed to one-fourth of the global NAD module shipments during Q3 2021. Europe and North America’s contribution remained steady due to a greater proportion of embedded cellular connectivity. Emerging markets such as India and Brazil are the next big high-growth markets for NAD modules in the coming years.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Research Analyst Soumen Mandal said, “Rolling Wireless, LG and Continental were the top three NAD module vendors globally in Q3 2021 in terms of revenue. These three brands captured two-thirds of the total market revenue.

Rolling Wireless has maintained a good relationship with leading automakers such as Volkswagen, Stellantis, Toyota and Geely. Currently, Rolling Wireless leads in the 4G NAD module segment. The company has recently launched its first 5G NAD module, RN91xx, developed on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive 5G Platform. This solution is expected to help Rolling Wireless expand in North America, Europe, China and Japan, the regions which see the most connected car purchases and are also ahead in terms of 5G infrastructure.

LG (LG Electronics and LG Innotek combined) witnessed a 28% YoY growth in terms of revenue in Q3 2021. Global presence, strong partnerships with automakers and superior product quality will help LG improve performance further and increase its share in the global NAD module market.

Continental has cemented its position in this market with a strong presence in North America and Europe with marquee customers such as Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW and Ford. The company is looking to ramp up its portfolio with 5G C-V2X modules and strike key partnerships and initial customer wins to capture the 5G connected car market.

Traditional module players such as Quectel and SIMCom have also launched 5G-supported automotive-grade modules. If these vendors are successful in attracting international Tier I suppliers or automakers with their low-cost business model and broader scale in the IoT module market, they could strongly challenge the pure automotive-grade module suppliers such as Rolling Wireless and Titan.”

Global Automotive NAD Module Revenue Share by Module Vendor, Q3 2021

NAD Module Market Counterpoint
Source: Counterpoint Global Automotive NAD Module and Chipset Tracker, Q3 2021

The ongoing chip shortage and supply chain tightness in the automotive sector is negatively impacting the NAD module demand from Tier I suppliers and OEMs. For example, automakers Renault and Nissan were forced to leave out features such as navigation system from their vehicles to mitigate the chip shortage. Currently, the automotive industry is working with a tight supply chain. This situation is expected to improve by the end of this year after the new capacity additions of matured technology nodes at both foundry and integrated device manufacturers (IDMs).

Commenting on the automotive NAD module market outlook, Vice-president Research Neil Shah said, “Automotive NAD module shipments will grow by more than two times between 2020 and 2025. The rising demand for safety and connected features will help this market grow with a CAGR of 18% during 2021-2025.

4G is expected to remain a dominant cellular technology in the global automotive NAD module market, but the share of 5G modules will grow fast after 2023. The higher average selling price (ASP) and semiconductor shortages aren’t helping quicker 5G adoption in the near term, as estimated a year ago. Having said that, 5G will be the key technology for the future of connected and autonomous cars.

As a result, Qualcomm will continue to dominate the automotive embedded connectivity market and further expand with synergies for its automotive focus with the Snapdragon Digital Chassis platform. This platform includes software and semiconductor solutions for ADAS, connectivity and digital cockpit applications.

Upcoming players such as Autotalks are targeting DSRC- and C-V2X-based applications and gaining some traction among NAD module vendors, though players such as MediaTek, UNISOC and Samsung are still less focused on this multi-billion dollar segment.”

For detailed research, refer to the following reports available for subscribing clients and individual subscription:

Counterpoint tracks and forecasts on a quarterly basis 25+ NAD module vendors’ shipments, revenues and ASP performance across 10+ chipset players, and major geographies.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

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Soumen Mandal

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Neil Shah

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