NB-IoT Module Share in Cellular IoT Module Shipments at Record 30% in Q3 2020

  • Quectel, Sierra Wireless, Thales and Telit controlled more than half of the global cellular IoT module revenue.
  • Automotive, Router/CPE and Enterprise are the top three applications for cellular IoT modules globally in terms of revenue.
  • Qualcomm dominated the global cellular IoT module chipset market, capturing almost half of the market in terms of shipment volumes.

London, San Diego, Buenos Aires, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul – January 20, 2021

Global cellular IoT module revenue increased 8% QoQ but decreased 1% YoY during Q3 2020, according to the latest research by Counterpoint Global Cellular IoT Module and Chipset Tracker. The demand is yet to recover fully from the impact of COVID-19. However, all regions except the Middle East and Africa (MEA), Latin America and South Korea reported an increase in revenue. NB-IoT modules were the fastest-growing cellular IoT module segment and contributed to a record 30% of the global cellular IoT module shipment volumes in Q3 2020.

Commenting on market dynamics, Research Associate Soumen Mandal said, “Quectel, Fibocom and Neoway were the only suppliers which grew their revenues on a YoY basis. Quectel revenues grew a healthy 41%, with a balanced performance across regions widening its lead with the rest of the suppliers. Fibocom revenues grew 34% YoY on strong growth in North America, Asia and China. From the fourth quarter onwards, Fibocom will be further benefiting from the divestment of Sierra Wireless’s automotive segment. Going forward, this should push Sierra Wireless, the second-largest supplier by revenue, down a couple of notches and drive Fibocom to become one of the top three players globally.”

Exhibit 1: Global Cellular IoT Module Shipment Revenue Share, Q3 2020

Cellular IoT Module Market Q3 2020 Counterpoint

Source: Global Cellular IoT Module and Chipset Tracker, Q3 2020

Mandal added: “NB-IoT now contributes to 30% of the total cellular IoT module shipment volumes but only 11% of the total revenue due to the low ASPs. At the same time, the demand for LTE Cat 4 and Cat 1 applications is also rising. Cat 1 modules are mostly being deployed in industrial, telematics, and asset-tracking applications, whereas LTE Cat 4 is seeing deployment in automotive, router/CPE and enterprise. Overall, LTE (Cat 1, Cat 4 and beyond) continues to command the lion’s share of the global cellular IoT module revenues. The share of LPWA technologies (NB-IoT and LTE-M) is steadily growing. However, the share of 5G is forecast to grow in coming quarters with the proliferation of CPEs and other applications.”

Exhibit 2: Global Cellular IoT Module Shipments by Application Revenue Share, Q3 2020

Cellular IoT Module Aapplication Market Q3 2020 Counterpoint

Source: Global Cellular IoT Module by Brand by Tech by Application Tracker, Q3 2020

Talking about cellular IoT applications, Research Vice President Neil Shah highlighted, “The higher ASP of automotive modules helped this segment lead the global cellular IoT module application market, followed by router/CPE, enterprise, industrial and telematics. Automotive, router/CPE and smart meters are top applications for 4G, 5G and NB-IoT respectively. Healthcare, asset tracking and telematics have been seeing some growth buoyed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Commenting on the IoT module cellular chipset supplier landscape, Shah noted, “Qualcomm has seen a significant growth in the cellular IoT module market for its broad portfolio of cellular chipsets, which commanded almost half of the market in Q3 2020 in terms of shipments. Qualcomm is the top supplier for 4G, 5G and LPWA dual connectivity IoT applications while Mediatek is leading in NB-IoT and 2G connectivity. Hisilicon has been losing its chipset market share owing to supply shortage and the US sanctions.”

Counterpoint is tracking more than 35 IoT module vendors and 18 applications across 10 major geographies. These comprehensive and in-depth reports are a part of Counterpoint’s IoT (Internet of Things) Practice and available for download for subscribing clients.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in technology products in the TMT industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analysis of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are experts in the industry with an average tenure of 15 years in the high-tech industry.

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Soumen Mandal

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