AI, Digital Twins, Real-time Compute Emerge as Top Technology Trends for 2023

  • Counterpoint believes that Artificial Intelligence (AI), Digital Twins and Edge Computing will emerge as top technology trends in 2023, affecting the whole tech industry.
  • Other trends that will be seeing lots of investments and progress include – Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain in IoT (ABIoT), Zero trust Architecture (ZTA) in Cybersecurity, West-China Technology Investments for Technology reshoring, eSIMs, XR and Sustainability

New Delhi, Beijing, Seoul, Hong Kong, London, Buenos Aires, San Diego – February 26, 2023

We have entered 2023 at a time when geopolitical tensions are at their highest and markets are fragile due to macro factors, especially in the technology sector. Talks of recession, inflation, higher interest rates and declining consumer spending make it extremely judicious for businesses to invest in innovation.

With the report Technology Trends 2023 we aim to highlight the catalysts and trends that will influence technological developments and adoption in 2023. We have chosen trends that are at their inflection point in 2023 by observing a multitude of evidence available for these anchor technologies.

Counterpoint Research Technology Trends 2023


Commenting on the Technology Trends for 2023, Associate Director Mohit Agrawal commented, “We will be seeing a lot of proliferation of AI use cases across industries with the success that ChatGPT saw through its release; Conversational chatbots and text using generative AI are ready for prime time in 2023 followed by code writing early next year. Meanwhile, images, audio and videos may take another two to four years before they start to make a serious impact.”

“The magnitude with which we have seen companies launching AI-based solutions at Mobile World Congress (MWC), Barcelona 2023, from telecom to manufacturing, is immense. The solutions reflect the prevalence of AI in even the most basic of tasks to the most complex ones.”

Agarwal further added, “The confluence of AI and Blockchain in IoT would initiate the era of ABIoT. IoT plays a vital role in collecting data through sensors, facilitating two-way communication and enabling action. AI takes on the responsibility of ‘thinking’ by analyzing the large data sets generated by IoT and mimicking human-like intelligence. Meanwhile, blockchain ensures secure, immutable and transparent record-keeping to ‘enable transactions.’ When these three technologies are combined, they can create substantial value for any organization and enable new business models.”

Real-time computing is another trend that has seen lot of activity, on which Senior Analyst Akshara Bassi commented, “Real-time computing or Edge computing is becoming ubiquitous in 2023. End customers and companies are heavily using technologies that synthesize real-time data to deliver insights to help improve consumer experience with existing technology hardware and the efficiency of processes. The proliferation of IoT and 5G has accelerated the demand for compute at the Edge as reflected by the investments by Cloud players in real-time computing applications to the rise of Edge-based SaaS solutions.”

A trend summary for technologies that will course through 2023:

  • Dawn of AI, Blockchain and IoT (ABIoT): The AI, blockchain and IoT trinity is of immense significance in the world of technology. ABIoT uses blockchain, AI and IoT to enhance trust and security, test various usage-based business models and scale the deployment to an intelligent level that can glean insights to make operations efficient.
  • Rise of Digital Twins: In 2023, we are entering the era of Cognitive Digital Twins. These virtual replicas function autonomously and use AI for making decisions. These digital twins use AI to reflect and simulate assets, machines and processes in real time.
  • Cybersecurity – Zero Trust Architecture a Necessity: Cybersecurity has become more crucial than ever due to the rapid digital transformation taking place across industries and the transition to Web 3.0. The legacy security architecture, which is based on the defense-in-depth methodology is now lacking due to the presence of a true perimeter, making it inadequate. Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) is emerging as the solution to fill the gaps that the legacy architecture failed to cover.
  • Real-time Compute to Become Ubiquitous, Supported by Cloud Providers: Digital transformation has made the Cloud ubiquitous within a company’s IT infrastructure. But the implementation of 5G and the proliferation of IoT devices has necessitated Edge to become more intelligent and embrace an active compute role to deliver real-time data insights.
  • Generative AI to Make Big Leap Forward in 2023: The unprecedented success of ChatGPT has reignited interest in the cutting-edge field of generative AI. Generative AI has the potential to revolutionize content creation, affecting industries such as marketing, design, entertainment, software development and media organizations. On one hand, it democratizes content creation, yet on the other, it has the power to completely disrupt the current content creation landscape.
  • West-China Rivalry to Amplify in Technology Sector: There is a simmering rivalry between the West and China, especially in the technology industry, which is likely to amplify further in 2023 as the respective governments take decisive steps to deleverage. In October last year, the US announced curbs on technology exports intending to cut off Chinese companies from access to advanced semiconductors made anywhere in the world from US equipment or know-how.
  • eSIMs – Ready for Prime Time: 2022 was a landmark year for the eSIM ecosystem and eSIM is now rapidly moving towards becoming the preferred mode of cellular connectivity. More than 260 MNOs/MVNOs now support eSIM, and they support more than 35 consumer devices on an average. However, in 2023, we expect a significant increase in the adoption of eSIM technology, with an expected one in four IoT modules equipped with eSIM.
  • XR – Recalibration of Strategy, New Opportunities Emerge: Key players in the XR space are recalibrating their strategy in 2023 as consumers and enterprises await the promised XR experience. Recently, Qualcomm, Google and Samsung announced a partnership to work on a mixed reality (MR) platform by bringing together Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR Tech, Google’s expertise in experiences and Samsung’s product capabilities. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to launch its MR headset soon.
  • Sustainability – Technology Services Championing the Cause: Humanity continues consuming the Earth’s resources 1.75x faster than its capacity for biological replenishment. Consequently, companies are becoming conscious of their usage of resources and the efficiency of their business processes. Companies are using technology to achieve end-to-end visibility concerning all processes by sensing and tracking data at each touch point and possibly altering the process flow to achieve greater efficiencies and lower carbon footprint by using AI in conjunction with physical decision making.
  • IoT – Consolidation Expected to Accelerate: The IoT value chain is highly fragmented with over 4,000 players competing for a share of the market. This intense competition has led to a squeezed margin and has hindered the ability of players to expand into adjacent areas of the value chain. As economic conditions push investors to prioritize profitability, de-fragmentation through mergers and acquisitions would become all too common in 2023.

The comprehensive and in-depth “Technology Trends – 2023” report is available. Please contact Counterpoint Research to access the report.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) 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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Analyst Contacts:

Mohit Agrawal
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Akshara Bassi
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Neil Shah
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Counterpoint Research


Telit’s Acquisitions to Reshape Global IoT Module Market

In recent times, Telit has acquired cellular IoT businesses from Thales and Mobilogix. The IoT module market has started consolidating and we expect to see a few more deals in the coming months. In August, we also saw Semtech acquiring Sierra Wireless to offer complete chip-to-cloud solutions to cover the entire IoT value chain. The back-to-back acquisitions by Telit show how it is trying to become an integrated player. With the Mobilogix acquisition, Telit can offer modules, connectivity, security and management platform to design and manufacturing services. It means Telit will act as a one-stop solution provider for its customers. Here, we will try to analyze what these acquisitions mean to Telit and how they will impact the IoT industry.

Telit-Thales deal

Thales is merging its cellular IoT module business into Telit to form a new entity called Telit Cinterion. Thales will own a 25% stake in the newly formed entity and offer SIM technology and security services for IoT modules.

China dominates the global cellular IoT module market by taking more than 55% share. International players are struggling to compete in the operator- and government-driven China IoT module market.

After its deal with Telit, Thales will enjoy less distraction from its module business and will be able to focus on its core business which includes software, security and services. Thales will still continue to provide eSIM services where it is a market leader.

Global Cellular IoT Module Shipments Share by Vendor, Q1 2022

Telit and Thales Acquisition Opportunity

The newly formed company will have a common R&D platform which will help save resources. In the coming times, we may see Telit Cinterion focusing on the IoT platform business to earn revenue on a recurring basis.

Thales has a strong position in Europe and Japan, whereas Telit has a good presence in North America and Latin America. This complementary relationship supports their dream of becoming the #1 cellular IoT player in the international market. Telit-Thales is already leading in the international IoT module market in terms of revenue. With this merger, Telit Cinterion may overtake Quectel in the international market in terms of shipments in the coming years.

Telit has already divested its automotive business in 2018, but Thales has a good customer base for some European automakers. How the joint venture treats this automotive business will be keenly watched. There is ample opportunity in the automotive business with growing connected and autonomous mobility. With the introduction of 5G, Telit may focus on the automotive segment as the automotive module business contributes higher revenue due to a higher average selling price (ASP).

IoT Module Launch

In recent times, Telit has done a great job launching many new modules. This helps Telit to target new regions depending on available technologies and provides an option for customers to select a product as per their requirements.

Telit-Mobilogix deal

Telit moved to acquire Mobilogix, a decade-old end-to-end IoT hardware, software and cloud solution provider to fulfill its ambition of becoming a more integrated player and one of the largest end-to-end white-label solution providers outside China.

Mobilogix’s comprehensive device engineering expertise and resources, which focus on optimizing the specifications for EMS and ODMs, and attainment of regulatory approvals and carrier certification, will help Telit provide solutions to customers with reduced cost and complexity, and faster time to market.

Furthermore, Mobilogix is known for its expertise in customized IoT projects, which provide businesses with solutions in various application verticals that are ready to certify and mass produce. This will help Telit expand its focus in growing segments such as telematics, micro-mobility, healthcare, construction and agriculture.

Chinese module vendors are trying to become integrated players to capture maximum share across the IoT value chain. Telit is also trying to adopt such a model with these recent acquisitions. For example, Quectel is trying to increase its footprint in the North American market with the establishment of a new ODM company, named Ikotek. Similarly, Fibocom established a new ODM company in 2019 for global customers through applications such as gateway, payment terminal, telematics and industrial applications. Telit is slowly becoming vertically integrated and trying to revive back its glory days in the IoT module market.

Solutions from the combined entity will provide a great choice for customers who want to diversify and do not want to depend on the Chinese ecosystem, and need tightly integrated solution expertise from one provider.

If Telit wants to compete head-to-head with Chinese module giants like Quectel and Fibocom, it has to develop an effective business strategy for each international market.

Mobilogix has a wide range of portfolios comprising custom IoT projects and solution design services based on three basic architectures, namely beacon, power and battery-operated architecture. Apart from this, it also offers cloud platform integration and custom firmware, which will add value to Telit’s portfolio not only from cellular but also from BLE beacon hardware designs.

Mobilogix has a global presence across key regions such as the US, China, India and Latin America. Its presence in China and emerging markets like India will help Telit grow its presence in these key regions.

Telit’s Acquisitions to Reshape Global IoT Module Market


  • Telit is becoming a more integrated player with these acquisitions and moving up the stack to become an end-to-end solution provider. The convenient and comprehensive solutions will add more value to its customers’ IoT project deployments and will be concurrent with its long-term vision of becoming the #1 international module player in terms of both shipments and revenue.
  • The acquisitions will help Telit provide solutions to customers from the design/manufacturing of hardware to cloud and security with regional diversification. This will help Telit cater to more application segments, thus improving both revenue and profitability.
  • However, industry experts will be keenly watching the entire positioning, offering, strategy and business model, which are changing in the IoT space as you need to be a large-scale and end-to-end player to succeed even though it is a blue ocean out there.

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Can Semtech’s Acquisition of Sierra Wireless Change Offerings in IoT Space?

US-based semiconductor manufacturer and LoRa pioneer Semtech announced a $1.2-billion deal on Wednesday to acquire Canada-based cellular IoT module and device supplier Sierra Wireless. The deal comes after last week’s merger deal between Telit and Thales’ cellular IoT business. The IoT module market has entered a consolidation phase and we can expect a few more announcements in the near future.

The IoT module market is fragmented. Many brands are struggling to improve performance, scale up products and face competitors. Some players are moving towards services, which comprise 77% value of the total IoT value chain, for better revenue opportunities instead of sticking to hardware only. For example, u-blox acquired Thingstream in 2020 to generate more revenue and offer complete IoT solutions, from chipset to cloud. In some cases, companies are trying to build up their own supply chain ecosystem through integration. For example, Quectel entered the IoT antenna space last year. In the future, we may witness some large players offload their cellular IoT module business which is not a core business for them.

Sierra Wireless IoT module market share Counterpoint

The Semtech-Sierra Wireless deal is an important announcement for the IoT space. It can change offerings in the IoT industry. Here are some key takeaways from this deal from Counterpoint analysts:

  • Sierra Wireless is mainly focused on the cellular business, whereas Semtech is focused on the non-cellular business. The ultra-low power benefits of LoRa and higher-bandwidth capabilities of cellular networks will bring innovation to IoT use cases. They can also solve problems faced in massive IoT adoption across all segments.
  • International brands such as Sierra Wireless, Telit, Thales and u-blox were struggling to compete with Chinese module vendors such as Quectel, Fibocom and MeiG in terms of scale and bringing innovation to the field.
  • Sierra Wireless divested its auto business in 2020 to focus on the router/CPE segment but the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions and ransomware attack hit Sierra Wireless’ efforts to regain its market share last year. Interestingly, the automotive spin-off business was acquired by a consortium led by Chinese module vendor Fibocom.
  • We also witnessed a corner-room change at Sierra Wireless to revive brand glory when Phil Brace replaced Kent Thexton as the CEO in July 2021.
  • This year, Sierra Wireless divested its Omnilink offender monitoring business to Sentinel for $37.6 million. This was not a core business for the company and it offloaded Omnilink to focus more on the services industry. Product segments can generate revenue for one time, whereas services can generate revenue on a recurring basis. That is why we have been seeing many IoT module players shifting towards IoT platforms, cloud and services.
  • According to its chip-to-cloud strategy for IoT adoption, Semtech aims to offer solutions across the IoT value chain. However, it has no good presence in the module, device and platform categories. Moreover, LoRa isn’t suitable for each IoT application. LoRa and cellular technologies may complement each other in serving segments across the IoT value chain.
  • Sierra Wireless will bring a rich experience of cellular IoT modules, cellular gateways and cloud service platform to Semtech, while Semtech will offer LoRa chips, LoRa gateways and cloud services. In the future, we may see more hybrid cellular+LoRa solutions instead of dual cellular module-based solutions. In this type of application, the cellular module can be used for data communication and LoRa can be used for device management and other applications where a low payload is required. This can change offerings in the IoT module space and help Semtech increase its market share in the cellular space too.
  • Semtech already has a good hold on smart meter, smart city, industrial, smart grid and asset-tracking applications through LoRa solutions. The addition of Sierra Wireless products will help Semtech target high-end markets such as security cameras, gateways, fleet and PC.

IoT Value Chain Counterpoint


The combined entity is looking for a 10x growth opportunity to reach a $10-billion serviceable addressable market (SAM) by 2027. To achieve this figure, IoT platform and cloud services will play a pivotal role as these can contribute revenue on a recurring basis. At the same time, Semtech needs to be careful not to disrupt the standalone LoRa ecosystem partners and customers. We believe cellular+LoRa-based industrial applications such as security, smart campus, factory and private networks will be a big opportunity for Semtech.

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IoTerop Betting on LwM2M for Massive IoT Adoption

The IoT ecosystem is maturing and the entire IoT module/device connectivity to the cloud is now managed by IoT platforms. The IoT platform space is getting crowded as players have just started to capitalize on this blue ocean opportunity. But there is enough room for every IoT platform to grow and be successful as we see millions of enterprises in the private as well as the public sector kickstarting their digital transformation initiatives to connect sensor-based assets and devices to either save money or earn money.

A good indicator is Counterpoint Research’s Global Cellular IoT Module Forecast, which shows the IoT module market’s growth in volumes as well as revenues. In a couple of years, revenue almost doubled to reach ~$6 billion in 2021. We expect more than 3.5 billion devices to have cellular IoT connectivity in 2025.

As we go further down the value chain, the growth of IoT platforms in terms of cloud and edge IoT capabilities is also a testament to this IoT-led digital transformation. Leveraging Counterpoint Research’s proprietary CORE (COmpetitive Rankings and Evaluation) framework, we have evaluated the leading 20 IoT platform companies driving this growth and helping the industry understand the capabilities required to develop an ideal IoT solution. Moving into this new decade, we also expect a healthy M&A activity to address several capability gaps between incumbents and start-ups identified by our research.

IoTerop is one of the companies contributing to the IoT ecosystem with its LwM2M solution to simplify, standardize and accelerate massive IoT deployments. As an emerging player in the IoT device management space, IoTerop, co-founded by former Intel executives in 2016, offers IoT development tools and device management software to help customers build efficient IoT solutions. IoTerop also works with different standards bodies and alliances to ensure IoT is secure, standardized and interoperable. Establishing standards ensures that devices communicate with each other on a global scale, eliminating the need for customers to develop costly proprietary technologies.

IoTerop Evolution from Development Tools to Platform

Counterpoint Research IoTerop Evolution from Development Tools to Platform

This form of embedded technology solution allows enterprises to commercialize their connected solutions, such as smart streetlights, smart meters, logistics tracking, industrial safety and security devices, quickly without hiring a team of developers and specialists. The company’s cloud-based device management platform allows control of all IoT devices at once and offers state-of-the-art security and firmware updates.

Analyzing IoTerop’s portfolio, the company offers three solutions that customers can choose based on their requirements:

  1. IOWA Device Management SDK
  2. ALASKA Device Management Platform
  3. NEBRASKA CoAP-as-a-Service

IOWA Device Management SDK – Offering a Flexible, Secure Device Management Platform

IoTerop’s ultra-compact IOWA enables organizations to build robust device management services, including security, connectivity, over-the-air firmware updates, and device interoperability. By relying on LwM2M, the standard used today by carriers to manage more than 100 million M2M devices.

IoTerop’s competitors such as ClearBlade have device management software with very small footprints (in MBs). But IoTerop has gone one step further with an unmatchable small memory footprint at only <30KB Flash and <5KB RAM. IOWA is the most compact and lightweight M2M implementation today. ClearBlade’s edge software agent supports x86 as well as various ARM processors. However, IOTerop’s DM software support x86 and ARM plus RTOSes (FreeRTOS, Zephyr, etc), which is an added advantage. One of the reasons IOWA will stand out is that in addition to the standardized device management services, one can get benefits like reduced device costs, energy consumption and network utilization, improving return on investment and total cost of ownership on their project deployment.

Counterpoint Research Development Strategy
Source: IoTerop

Key Features

  • It gives the flexibility to configure any device on any network remotely and securely.
  • The state-of-the-art Lightweight M2M standard already supports tens of millions of devices, pragmatically combining industry-accepted standards and practices.
  • The lOWA solution is industry proven as it is certified by Ericsson, AT&T, Verizon, semiconductor players and industry leaders, and provides advanced security features like authentication and encryption.


In conjunction with ALASKA, IOWA supports IoT strategy by providing open, standardized and economically rational architecture from device to cloud. However, there is a huge opportunity for IoTerop related to the edge security aspect from edge to cloud perspective. IoTerop has the opportunity to expand its focus beyond energy and utility to the transportation, retail and consumer verticals and other edge-focused IoT deployments.

ALASKA Device Management Platform

IoTerop launched its cloud-based ALASKA device management platform in 2020 for full IoT lifecycle management from bootstrapping to decommissioning. ALASKA can be integrated with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure for data reporting. Each large-scale deployment requires specific services to manage operational costs. Nobody had created a device management platform optimized for the most constrained devices and low-power WAN. IoTerop has solved this pain point to reduce operational overhead costs with its ALASKA solution.

ALASKA Services

Counterpoint Research Alaska Services
Source: IoTerop

Key Features

  • In terms of adaptability, ALASKA preferably runs on IoTerop’s public AWS platform, but one can run it on-premises on any cloud platform.
  • The solution comes with micro-service architecture which can be scaled as per requirement.
  • With IoTerop’s OSCORE standard, the solution provides advanced security with key provisioning, and end-to-end encryption and authentication optimized for constrained environments.


A few IoT platforms such as ClearBlade and FogHorn (acquired by Johnson Controls) pivoted to an edge-focused platform strategy, developing a single IoT software stack that can be deployed at the edge, on-premises and in the cloud, which includes data ingestion, data processing and edge orchestration. The edge-first platform has tremendous potential for growth because of its focus and innovation in the ML/analytics arena with capabilities and opportunities to white-label the platform to other IoT players that lack advanced edge ML capabilities. This is a great opportunity for IoTerop IOWA clients to evolve and add those ML/analytics.

NEBRASKA CoAP-as-a-Service – Offering Greater Flexibility for Additional DM Features, Network Agnostics

NEBRASKA is a subset of ALASKA, IoTerop’s device management platform supporting LwM2M. It provides flexibility to append additional LwM2M device management features after CoAP client implementation, which is built on top of AWS.

CoAP is a transport protocol optimized for the most constrained devices and networks, minimizing bandwidth requirements and easing integration with the internet.

NEBRASKA is especially useful for low-power devices that heavily rely on battery life. The customers using solutions from the NB-IoT device fleet can make use of the CoAP broker solution regardless of their choice of mobile network operators (MNO) or mobile virtual network operators (MVNO).

The hyperscalers rely on MQTT today because it is very capable. But it is simply not efficient enough for modern LPWAN IoT solutions which often use less data and have power constraints. CoAP for low-power networks increases reliability while allowing easy integration with existing internet technologies.

CoAP-to-Cloud MQTT Bridge with Implementation of NEBRASKA

Counterpoint Research CoAP-to-Cloud MQTT Bridge with Implementation of NEBRASKA
Source: IoTerop

Ecosystem Partnerships – Expanding Footprint Across Value Chain

IoTerop has been building an ecosystem of partners with various OEMs and component/device manufacturers to deliver its IoT solutions.

Counterpoint Research IoTerop Ecosystem Partnerships

Some of the recent key partnerships in various application segments of IoT are as follows:

  • IoTerop and Nordic Semiconductor are working with a smart city solutions provider, Urban Control, for a street lighting project based on the Nordic nRF9160 multi-mode NB-IoT/LTE-M System-in-Package (SiP).
  • IoTerop is offering smart LwM2M implementation based on ST Microelectronic’s STM32 MCU for industrial and transportation use cases.
  • Thales is working with IoTerop to leverage IOWA LwM2M device management services to reduce resources needed to bring secure, efficient and future-proof IoT solutions.
  • Quectel’s BG95 module is implementing IoTerop’s IOWA LwM2M solution targeting smart meters, smart street lighting and asset-tracking applications.


  • Unlike its competitors like Pelion, IoTerop must look forward to expanding partnerships on both ends of the value chain with component players/module vendors and influential cloud/infrastructure players in the IoT market.
  • There is scope for IoTerop to diversify with more hardware partners and build a marketplace that offers IoTerop-integrated IoT hardware.

Key Takeaways

  • IoTerop aims to solve the biggest pain points of IoT deployments, such as security, standardization and interoperability.
  • IoTerop’s platform has evolved into three major components – IOWA device management SDK, ALASKA device management platform and NEBRASKA.
  • IoTerop will help drive the massive IoT deployments with its cost-effective solutions. With its lightweight footprint and cloud-based device management platform, it will take a step further for the scaling of IoT application use cases. Its solutions are also standardized with the Open Mobile Alliance’s Lightweight M2M device management protocol, which is specifically designed to support IoT deployments using low-power WAN (LPWAN). It will give IoT device ODMs and IoT device integrators great choices while designing the IoT devices and creating future-proof solutions.
  • The competition in the IoT device management market is immense but there is enough room for platforms such as IoTerop which are bringing unique capabilities and solutions that solve some critical pain points.

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How 5G AIoT Brings Intelligence to Digital Transformation

Our Research Vice President Neil Shah will be moderating the Fibocom webinar “How 5G AIoT Brings Intelligence to Digital Transformation” on March 1st 2022.

Event details:

Date: March 1st 2022

Time: 11:00 AM (New York)/16:00 PM (London)/17:00 PM (Germany)/23:00 PM (China)

Registration link: Click here

About the event:

After continuous evolution over the past two years, 5G has evolved from an emerging concept to a ubiquitous and mainstream technology for mobile devices. The characteristics of 5G, such as ultra-high-speed, ultra-low latency and ultra-high density, will insert wireless wings to AI. 5G can complete AI operations as fast as possible on the terminal side, which not only reduces latency but also enhance customer experience and improves personalized services. Conversely, 5G will certainly benefit from the AI-enabled processing ability. AI-based applications can react almost in real-time to the data generated by the 5G network, providing completely new possibilities for automation. Replacing traditional wireless algorithms with deep machine learning, AI will dramatically reduce manpower costs and improve overall performance, bringing safety and convenience to people’s daily life, promoting the digital transformation and upgrading of various industrial and commercial activities, and spawning countless innovative services and products. Join our experts to gain actionable insights about how the integration of 5G and AIoT can further expand the application landscape, and how to solve the key challenges faced by the 5G AIoT adopters.


Daniele Cleri

Daniele Cleri

AAEON Europe

AI & IoT Software Architect  

Nikola Balj

Fibocom Wireless Inc.

Director of Sales and BD, EMEA 

Media Partners: 


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Podcast: How a Low-Power Edge AI Chip Company is Driving Intelligence in Consumer Devices

As home security solutions such as security cameras are now used in several households, there is an increasing need for AI (Artificial Intelligence) inferencing at the edge. Typically, the security solution relies on machine learning models to identify objects or faces in the CCTV footage – for example differentiating between a cat and a human. The data is then sent to the cloud for analysis and sent back to the device. But this can be problematic when there is poor internet connectivity.

Ergo, a tiny 7x7mm Edge AI chip from a company called Perceive, aims to solve issues with AI inferencing at the edge. The chip enables rapid processing on edge devices, for example facial recognition, or alerting to certain sounds, such as glass breaking or a dog barking. This can trigger actions without resorting to cloud-based systems. This type of solution can also offer enhanced data security and user privacy, as the data does not leave the device. The edge AI inference chips can be used in connected devices such as smart speakers as well, where many commands can be processed on the device, rather referring to the cloud. There can be many other applications in the future including drones, autonomous vehicles, and much more.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Peter Richardson is joined by David McIntyre, VP of Marketing at Perceive. David talks about AI inferencing at the edge using a tiny chip called Ergo. He deep dives into problems solved by inferencing on edge devices over the cloud, use cases, and savings made related to space onboard, costs and power. The podcast discussion also focuses on potential applications where solutions like Perceive’s Ergo chip can be used.

Hit the Play Button to Listen to the Podcast

You can download the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

00:58 – A little bit about David, his role at Perceive, and what solutions the company offers.

02:31 – What is an edge inferencing device and what problems does it solve?

06:01 – How do you go about training the model for inferencing at the edge?

10:27 – The Ergo chip and its headline features?

13:17 – The number of sensors that can be used in Ergo chip-based devices?

14:09 – Does the solution need any external memory?

15:32 – Privacy and security aspects when keeping inference data locally?

18:21 – Where Ergo is being deployed?

20:38 – The support Perceive offers to device makers?

22:31 – What are you most excited to see with edge AI inferencing applications in the coming years?

Also available for listening/download on:


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The Hybridisation of Hybrid Cloud

As the corporate world experiences an accelerated digital transformation owing to fundamental changes in workplace and consumer habits, most enterprises are adopting the cloud to pave the way for this change.

However, choosing to grow with the cloud comes with its own set of challenges that makes skeptics out of believers. Earlier, it was a binary choice between a public cloud and a private cloud (or expansion of the on-premises infrastructure). On the other hand, in a hybrid cloud, the benefits of public cloud, namely lower TCO (total cost of ownership), agility and higher speed, get married with the security, compliance and on-demand geographical data access provided by a private cloud.

The use cases for hybrid cloud go way beyond the obvious. Apart from the apparent adopters like telecom operators and the gaming industry due to the low latency it offers, we see financial institutions and media entertainment houses, which struggle with strict compliance and data residency rules, adopting hybrid cloud. This enables them to innovate at a higher pace while still complying with regional data laws.

Counterpoint Research Hybrid Cloud Infographic​


The hybrid cloud ecosystem is undergoing critical changes, with major public cloud providers offering customized solutions for those opting for hybrid cloud deployments. The emergence of Hybrid Cloud as a Service in the past two years has morphed into a more sophisticated bundle of offerings to accommodate varied workloads while driving cloud adoption. We expect a majority of enterprises to move to this medium in a multi-cloud environment in the next three years.

Cloud providers are increasingly focusing on multiple vendor partnerships to offer full-stack solutions that boost interoperability. This need for a symbiotic relationship is driven by the fact that the security and privacy of data is the most important resource while evaluating IT infrastructure. Therefore, the gaps in the public cloud are seemingly filled with hybrid cloud solutions.

Some recent industry examples include IBM’s acquisition of RedHat, HPE’s partnership with Nutanix, VMWare Cloud on AWS, Netapp with Equinix, and Istio–Google partnership with Cisco. These partnerships are driven by the confluence of the following trends prevailing in the industry:

  • Accelerated rate of 5G adoption: According to Counterpoint estimates, in Q1 2021, every one out of three smartphones sold was 5G enabled. In evolved markets like the US, Europe, China, Japan and South Korea, the sales were past the 50% mark and adoption levels nearing 80%.
    As the emerging economies embrace 5G, the onslaught of data generated will push telcos to turn to hybrid cloud infrastructure to quickly meet the rising demand and region-specific data compliance agreements.
  • Rise of AI and ML workloads: AI-specific workloads have increased considerably in the past two years. AI/ML workloads require modern IT infrastructure to glean insights from them. It is evidenced by the rise of AI/ML as-a-Service segment in major cloud providers’ portfolios. As the enterprises focus on application development to support product releases enabled by AI insights, the focus shifts from IT infra handling to DevOps Productivity. The hybrid cloud enables the enterprises to focus on the application while taking away the pain of being a Data Center Manager!
  • Edge compute: The unprecedented volumes of data generated at the edge are accelerated by 5G and are outpacing the traditional compute infrastructure. Real-time data analysis has transitioned from ‘should have’ to ‘must have’ for the enterprises. Counterpoint estimates that IoT shipments have increased ~25% in the last two years. We see cloud providers increasingly offering specialized Edge services – AWS IoT Greengrass, Azure IoT, IBM Edge Computing, HPE IoT and many more. In fact, nowadays almost every player has a service catering to Edge compute.

Companies are increasingly adopting this ‘best of both worlds’ solution called the hybrid cloud, which drives their IT and business priorities. We believe that this trend will accelerate even further as 5G penetrates globally and enterprises reach turnaround points in their digital transformation journey.

The interesting thing to look forward to as 2021 rolls into its latter half will be the introduction of Specific Workloads aaS (as a service) at Edge and the offerings of hybrid cloud supporting multi-cloud environment.

Related Posts

Podcast: IoT Platform Competition Intensifies with Cloud-To-Edge Approach

As more and more devices are being connected to the cloud via internet, IoT is becoming more pervasive. These devices help in real-time monitoring, data collection, analyzing and then taking the required action. At Counterpoint Research, we recently completed the latest in-depth analysis using proprietary CORE (COmpetitive Rankings & Evaluation) framework to evaluate the leading 20 IoT platform players. They were evaluated based on over 35 capabilities and parameters highlighting completeness, comprehensiveness, and competitiveness.

In most scenarios, sending data to cloud, waiting to process and then taking the required action is not feasible. Due to this edge computing is becoming important. This is also a reason why cloud-first leaders such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Watson, Cloudera and others are extending their IoT platform capabilities from cloud to edge.

Exhibit 2: Counterpoint CORE – Leading IoT Platform by Completeness i.e. End-to-End Capabilities

Counterpoint CORE – Leading IoT Platform by Completeness i.e. End-to-End Capabilities

But as the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, and move from cloud to edge, security cannot be neglected. This is especially true for devices that gather and store your personal data. In the previous episode of “The Counterpoint Podcast”, we discussed the Future of IoT Security. In the latest episode, host Peter Richardson and consultant Falguni Shah discuss the IoT platform landscape and how the space is shaping up. Topics covered in the discussion include the leading IoT platform companies, level of automation they offer, competitiveness and more.

Detailed report with CORE Evaluation and Analysis of the world’s Leading 20 IoT platforms research can be found here. You can also read our report on overall IoT platform landscape and leading edge-focused IoT platforms here.

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Microsoft, Amazon & Huawei Lead the Overall IoT Platform Landscape in Completeness; ClearBlade & FogHorn Emerge as Leading Edge-Focused IoT Platforms

CISCO, Arm, and Google lead with end-to-end security and orchestration capabilities, whereas, PTC, Nutanix & WebNMS scores well on several Application Enablement capabilities.

San Diego, Buenos Aires, London, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – May 19, 2020

Counterpoint Research has completed its latest in-depth analysis using its proprietary CORE (COmpetitive Rankings & Evaluation) framework evaluating the leading 20 IoT platform players on more than 35 capabilities and ecosystem success parameters highlighting completeness, comprehensiveness, and competitiveness.

IoT is becoming more pervasive as more and more devices are being connected to the cloud via the internet to monitor, analyze, and take action. However, there is an increasing need for real-time collection, processing, and analysis of this data within the device or nearby gateway i.e. close to or actually at the edge of the network so that actions can be taken almost instantaneously. This is leading us to the intelligent edge or Intelligent Internet of Everything (IIoE) in which real-time AI/ML-based computing is embedded at the network’s edge.

Commenting on this trend, VP Research, Peter Richardson, highlighted, “The next wave of digital transformation will be driven by these intelligent edge devices and corresponding highly scalable and secure IoT software platforms with edge computing capabilities. As a result, we are seeing multiple edge-first IoT platforms entering the market. These players are looking to compete or partner with incumbent cloud-first IoT platform players who themselves have also been strengthening their edge IoT capabilities.”

Exhibit 1: IoT Platform Capabilities Extending from Intelligent Cloud to Intelligent Edge

IoT Platform Capabilities

To better understand the evolution, positioning, platform strategy, and competence of the various IoT platforms, Counterpoint has analyzed and evaluated key IoT platforms ranging from cloud-first to edge-first. The research helps industry stakeholders gain insights on the leading IoT platforms and their unique capabilities, limitations, partnerships, successful deployments, reach, and outlook. The chart below highlights the leading IoT platforms scorecard using our proprietary CORE framework.

Exhibit 2: Counterpoint CORE – Leading IoT Platform by Completeness i.e. End-to-End Capabilities

Counterpoint CORE - World's Leading IoT Platforms ScorecardThese leading platform players can be classified based on their core business and how they have evolved into IoT platform providers.

Cloud-first incumbents such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Baidu, IBM Watson, Alibaba Cloud, and Cloudera have successfully extended their IoT platform capabilities from the cloud to the edge. This end-to-end offering has helped them score well in terms of “completeness” in our evaluation.

Hardware vendors such as Huawei and CISCO that lead in terms of edge IoT endpoints, networking, and computing components, have also been successfully integrating their offerings with edge and cloud IoT capabilities. Thus, these vendors also score well on completeness, expanding their offering.

Software vendors such as SAP, PTC, WebNMS, Nutanix, and Software AG which are successful enterprise software companies, have added robust IoT Application Enablement Platform (AEP) capabilities to nicely complement their existing business. These vendors have been expanding their edge and cloud IoT capabilities through in-house development, partnerships, and acquisitions.

While these incumbents have grown on their IoT capabilities, Research Analyst, Ms. Falguni Shah, highlights emerging trends, “Choosing a more integrated and complete IoT platforms such as Microsoft Azure IoT, Baidu AIoT, or PTC ThingWorx, is attractive for enterprises looking to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives. Especially for those enterprises who already have established relationships with these players and have complete control and visibility over their IoT budget and deployment. However, many enterprises have a diverse set of IoT problems that they are trying to solve, and for many, these begin at the edge. As a result, edge IoT deployments are on the rise and estimated to be the bulk of future IoT deployments. Furthermore, greater flexibility, application-led customization, lower costs, no vendor lock-in, and better developer tools are also important criteria for enterprises as they embark on their IoT journey. This is the reason why several platforms are rushing to add edge IoT capabilities. However, we are also seeing the rise of highly capable edge-first IoT platforms, mainly from startups.”

In our evaluation, edge-first IoT platform players such as FogHorn, ClearBlade, Crosser, and Arm are addressing this exact problem in a more focused way. Some of these platforms lead in our evaluation, challenging the incumbents on several edge-focused capabilities. These include data ingestion, data processing, edge orchestration – all powered by a ground-up, purpose-built, easily customizable but scalable, edge IoT software platform. These vendors have gained preference and have driven successful edge IoT deployments across key verticals such as industrial, transportation, and retail, among others. Microsoft Azure is one of the only incumbents that comes somewhat close to building such robust edge IoT capabilities.

Highlighting this trend, VP Research. Neil Shah, notes, “The IoT market is largely still a blue ocean and in the nascent stages, with enough room for every IoT platform to grow and be successful as we see millions of enterprises and governments kickstart their digital transformation initiatives. We will likely see a co-opetition model as many of these highly capable platforms compete as well as complement each other to help build an effective and efficient IoT solution. Moving into the new decade, we also expect healthy M&A activity to address several capability gaps between incumbents and startups identified by our research.”

The following leaderboard highlights leadership in eight sub-criteria, which themselves comprise more than 35 sub-capabilities critical to the platforms’ competitiveness.

Exhibit 3: Counterpoint CORE Leaderboard1 :: Leading IoT Platforms by Capabilities – Edge, Cloud, Business Metrics

Counterpoint CORE Leaderboard - Leading IoT Platforms by Capabilities – Edge, Cloud, Business Metrics
Leaderboard: Top three platforms based on the addition of 35+ individual capabilities scores which rolls into the above eight sub-categories across three main categories Edge, Cloud, and Performance

Key research findings:

  • Microsoft Azure IoT platform leads the overall evaluation in 26 out of 35 capabilities across Edge IoT, Cloud IoT, and Platform Performance categories. Coming from a strong enterprise cloud business, Microsoft Azure IoT is the only end-to-end platform that has successfully built its Edge IoT capabilities and offers greater interoperability with other value chain players.
  • Amazon AWS IoT has also done well in terms of completeness benefiting from a robust Cloud IoT and Application Enablement capabilities. Further, AWS has been building its edge capabilities via AWS Greengrass. However, AWS Greengrass still lags Microsoft and other edge-first vendors to offer an advanced and scalable edge data analytics engine. Amazon was the leader in 10 out of 35 capabilities in our evaluation.
  • Huawei ranks third in our evaluation offering edge to cloud capabilities. Huawei Ocean Connect offers several edge components offering edge chipsets, to devices, to software, complementing its Cloud IoT capabilities. Huawei has a growing customer base within China and Europe, however, current US sanctions could slow its enterprise IoT business outside China.
  • PTC ThingWorx leads in IoT data ingestion, visualization (dashboard & AR), marketplace, and developer support capabilities. Further, PTC has been able to attract a strong roster of partnerships and customers across the IoT value chain. PTC was a leader in 12 out of 35 capabilities.
  • Nutanix, Losant, and WebNMS have also done well building great developer tools, open API integration, and application modules for IoT developers to accelerate application development and commercialization. They are fast emerging as highly capable Application Enablement Platforms (AEP).
  • IBM leads in Cloud IoT components in our evaluation benefitting from its industry leading position in Cloud and ML/AI space. RedHat acquisition also strengthens the edge software, security and virtualization offering. However, IBM needs to advance its edge analytics capabilities and expand its partnership roster to capitalize on the Edge IoT opportunity.
  • SAP’s strong foothold in enterprises with its current ERP customers puts its Leonardo IoT platform in a uniquely advantageous position. These customers can use the huge volume of business data coming from SAP ERP systems to build the business logic and extend it to the edge. SAP has been offering flexibility to its customers to either integrate their businesses with Leonardo IoT and SAP Cloud platform or AWS IoT Core or Azure IoT Hub via its partnership with Amazon and Microsoft, respectively. SAP Leonardo IoT platform leads in Business Apps integration, ecosystem geographic reach, and edge connectivity services capabilities.
  • Looking at the important Edge IoT landscape, ClearBlade and FogHorn are leaders offering advanced edge capabilities that span data ingestion, analytics engine, third-party integration, and scalability.
  • ClearBlade has the best edge software which is highly scalable across different edge hardware due to its lowest software footprint but still packing most of the advanced edge data processing features. ClearBlade has carved its niche in key verticals such as transportation, retail, and consumer edge devices. However, ClearBlade needs to scale across other verticals building key ecosystem partnerships and advanced developer tools.
  • FogHorn is also one of the hottest edge platforms, which is being heavily adopted in industrial IoT applications due to its proprietary but highly capable real-time edge analytics engine.
  • FogHorn’s edge-first platform is also integrated with easy-to-use and highly efficient expression language. This is helping industrial OT personnel leverage their domain knowledge and seamlessly design and deploy ML models at the edge.
  • Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT is one of the more mature IoT platforms with healthy adoption across Europe. Cumulocity IoT excels at real-time streaming analytics via its powerful Apama Event Processing engine at the edge and in the cloud. Cumulocity is one of the leaders for the edge and cloud analytics capability in our evaluation.
  • Crosser is another emerging edge-focused player, growing fast with an absolute focus on real-time streaming analytics at the edge via its advanced edge analytics engine. Crosser is partnering with several cloud vendors to complement its Cloud IoT prowess with its offering.
  • Players such as CISCO, Arm, and Losant are leaders in Edge Orchestration helping customers efficiently manage edge devices, connectivity services, and formulate business logic workflows via easy-to-use tools.
  • Google, CISCO, and Arm are setting the standard for chip-to-cloud security. For example, Google’s security approach begins with hardware root-of-trust and spans software, network, and cloud. Microsoft is also partnering with multiple chipset vendors to integrate Azure Sphere for a direct secure out-of-the-box connectivity to Azure IoT Cloud.

The complete CORE evaluation and analysis research on the world’s leading IoT Platforms is available for purchase or licensing, please contact

Analyst Contacts:

Falguni Shah  

Peter Richardson 

Neil Shah 

Huawei to Play a Limited Role in UK 5G

The UK government has decided to allow Huawei a limited role in building 5G infrastructure in the country. The UK has been under pressure, especially by the US, to exclude Huawei from 5G infrastructure deployments. But after a lengthy review, delayed by the December election, it is allowing Huawei to continue as an infrastructure provider, but with the following conditions:

  • Huawei will not be able to provide various core network functions or be used in sensitive geographic areas
  • Huawei’s share of any equipment type will be limited to no more than 35%

The UK government has always considered Huawei a ‘high-risk vendor’, but continues to believe that the risk of using Huawei equipment is manageable, provided its role is limited and that it is not allowed in sensitive parts of the network or country. The UK has, for many years, required Huawei to pay for a laboratory where Huawei’s equipment is carefully tested to assess its level of security threat. It has not been able to find anything that resembles a ‘back-door’ that would allow, for example, the Chinese government to intercept sensitive communications. It has, however, found considerable security vulnerabilities in the quality of Huawei’s software and cyber-security measures. In response, Huawei said it would invest two billion dollars to tighten the level of security. Nevertheless, concerns are less about Chinese government eavesdropping and more to do with the potential for a rogue actor to take down communications networks, partially or completely. Given the fundamental role that 5G will one day play in connecting much of daily life, this poses a threat that needs to be managed.

However while the UK government pondered the decision, three out of the the UK’s four mobile network operators had already started rolling out their 5G networks using Huawei infrastructure. This is unsurprising as Huawei is also a supplier of many 4G networks and there’s a synergy in using the same provider for both systems. Indeed, one of Huawei’s advantages in its approach to 5G is its ability to pair aspects of both 4G and 5G to drive faster and more cost-efficient deployments. Network operators have been vocal in their desire to keep Huawei as a supplier, citing issues of technology superiority and cost. If Huawei would have been prevented from participating in 5G, operators claimed it would have resulted in delays to network roll-outs of several years and substantial increases in cost.

Lobbying from telecom operators has likely been multiplied by lobbying from inside Huawei; several former members of the UK government now serve in various roles within Huawei, including Lord Browne – who is Chairman of Huawei UK.

The decision will have come as a relief for Huawei; other countries were observing the UK and are likely to follow its lead. But the relief is likely only partial because its continued identification as a high-risk vendor means it will struggle for the sort of market position it might otherwise have enjoyed.

And while the decision delivers some clarity on Huawei’s future role, there are aspects that will need to be handled carefully. One being how to define exactly what constitutes the core of the network. To deliver the benefits that 5G promises, more and more of the core functionality of the network will be distributed closer to the edge of the network, where Huawei will likely be allowed to play a role. And mixing different vendors’ solutions may limit the extent to which a network can realize the full capabilities of 5G. In practice, the restrictions outlined will likely limit Huawei to participating only in the radio access network (RAN). And some operators may have already exceeded the 35% rule and will need to plot a course to reducing their dependence on Huawei within the next three years.

Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung will be pleased that Huawei’s hands have been tied, but it’s perhaps less than they might have been hoping for. There is no relief for ZTE, which is effectively banned from the UK.

The UK government has been wrestling with a complex strategic calculation. Its closest ally is the USA, which has been pushing hard for an outright ban on the use of Huawei equipment. The UK has also likely been trying to keep China at least partially on-side. The uncomfortable truth is that it will need to forge trade agreements with both nations following Brexit. It is gambling that this conditional acceptance of Huawei will be enough to mollify Beijing without completely distancing the US. It may not have managed either.

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