Global NB-IoT Ecosystem: Trends, Adoption and Outlook


Published date: March 2021

Wireless IoT (internet of things), specifically LPWA (low-power wide-area) technology, continues to drive digital transformation and enhance real-world experiences, addressing consumer comfort and convenience while leading to energy and operating efficiency improvements across a host of industry segments.

NB-IoT (Narrow-Band IoT) is staking its claim as the LPWA technology of choice, with certain characteristics making it preferable to other technologies.

“Counterpoint Research expects there to be over 1.2 billion NB-IoT connections globally by 2025. This will account for just over a third of total cellular IoT connections, up from 10% in 2020.”

  • Widespread mobile operator support. There are currently 106 live NB-IoT networks globally, and with over 100 mobile operators planning to shut down 2G and 3G networks over the next few years, 2G M2M migration will be a major catalyst in driving NB-IoT uptake. Looking further ahead, NB-IoT is a key part of 5G specifications in upcoming 3GPP releases, making it a future-proof investment.
  • Strong industry support. NB-IoT has a thriving ecosystem of major chipset vendors, hardware manufacturers and equipment providers. Hundreds of companies are increasingly active across all aspects of the NB-IoT value chain – from components and devices through to platforms and analytics.
  • More use cases. NB-IoT technology is proving its value in a growing number of sectors, from Smart City and Consumer applications, through to Industry and Agriculture. And with improvements added by 3GPP Release 14, NB-IoT is increasingly supporting mobile applications.
  1. LPWA IoT: Key Drivers for Uptake
  2. NB-IoT Comparison with Other LPWA Technologies
  3. Key Drivers for Adoption
  4. Myths and Misconceptions
  5. Ecosystem Momentum
  6. Applications and Use Cases
  7. Market Outlook
  8. Conclusions and Recommendations

Component Players
Module Players
IoT Devices and Gateway Players
Channel Players
Connectivity Players
System Integrators
Software and Platform Ecosystem

NB-IoT represents a significant opportunity for mobile operators to create new revenue streams beyond the exceedingly competitive consumer segment. By moving further up the value chain beyond connectivity into areas such as IoT software/platforms and analytics, operators stand to capture a larger share of the IoT market and diversify across more industries

Jan also did an interview with Huawei where he spoke about NB-IoT and why it is the leading tech when it comes to both Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) applications as well as 5G massive machine-type communications (mMTC). He also speaks about the key drivers behind the adoption. Watch the interview now:



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