USA IoT Cellular Connections to Cross Half a Billion Mark by 2025, Cellular LPWAN to Contribute Nearly Half

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10th Oct 2018

AT&T will continue to lead by contributing to almost 50% of the USA total IoT cellular connection. T-Mobile’s and Sprint’s potential merger will lead them to be in 2nd spot in USA by pushing Verizon to 3rd by 2025.

According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s IoT (Internet of Things) service, USA IoT Cellular Connections grew 21 % YoY in 1H18 and we estimate it to grow by 25% YoY by end of 2018 driven by the roll out of IoT Low Power Wireless Access Networks (LPWAN).

Commenting on the network operators’ IoT deployment strategy, Counterpoint Research Analyst, Satyajit Sinha, noted, “Initially, the big US operators such as Verizon and AT&T, opted for LTE-M as the primary cellular LPWA network as opposed to China, where NB-IoT was opted. However, in the beginning of 2018, US operator T-Mobile went live with its NB-IoT network prompting the competition to rethink their LPWA strategy and tilt towards NB-IoT adoption network alongside the complementary LTE-M network. This is great news for NB-IoT ecosystem to scale further and faster with world’s top operators and markets adopting this promising LPWA technology.”

Mr. Sinha, further added, “From a technical perspective there are major differences between LTE-M and NB-IoT, such as channel bandwidth, peak data rate and device power consumption. Moreover, LTE-M is more suitable for IoT applications which required relatively higher throughput and support voice as compare to NB-IoT. As a result, key use cases for LTE-M will include healthcare monitoring, asset tracking, pets and kids tracking applications. Whereas NB-IoT will be suitable for application requiring low power and low bandwidth such as smart meters, smart smoke detectors, smart parking, smart city and plethora of other applications.”

Adding his perspective, Research Director, Jeff Fieldhack, noted, “Although NB-IoT has arrived late in USA as compared to China, in the case of 5G, US operators are leading with respect to the testing and deployment schedule. As 5G will be crucial for some high bandwidth as well low latency applications such as autonomous cars, drones, HD intelligent surveillance cameras, Industrial IoT and so forth. 5G IoT cellular connections will contribute to 16% of USA IoT cellular connection by 2025”

Exhibit 1: USA Cellular IoT Cellular Connection market share in 2018E vs 2025E

Source: Counterpoint Research: 2010-2025 USA IoT Cellular Connection Tracker and Forecast

Highlighting the major challenges, Counterpoint Research Analyst, Maurice Klaehne added, “Among the major challenges, security is one of the major roadblocks for the US, as traditionally cybersecurity was mostly about software applications and the US was dependent on it. However, with IoT, there is a need to secure hardware at one end and data at the other. Henceforth, there is a rising need for hardware to network to cloud for end-to-end security. Hence, the federal authorities and the industry stakeholders in the USA need to look at the proliferation of these IoT solutions as a whole to meet the highest grade privacy and security standards.”

Exhibit 2: USA IoT Cellular Connection by Technology Market Share in 2018E vs. 2025E


Source: Counterpoint Research: 2010-2025 USA IoT Cellular Connection Tracker and Forecast

USA IoT Cellular Connection Analysis of 1H 2018 at Operator level:

  • AT&T grew by 29% YoY and leads the market with 51% share of IoT cellular connections. Moreover, AT&T’s 50% share of IoT cellular connections was aided by its automotive connections.
  • Verizon grew by 11% YoY with 23% share of IoT cellular connections. Verizon’s connections are dominated by transport and logistics and enterprise segments.
  • Sprint grew by 2% YoY with 15% share of IoT cellular connections. A majority of Sprint’s connections are dominated by energy, industrial, automotive and enterprise.
  • T-Mobile grew by 39% with 11% share of IoT cellular connection. Currently, energy, industrial and enterprise applications are dominating its cellular connections. However, going forward we are expecting to see a significant increase in cellular connections from smart city applications.

The comprehensive and in-depth report on “USA IoT Cellular Connection Tracker CY 2010-2025” is a part of our IoT (Internet of Things) service. This report is available for download here


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in Technology products in the TMT industry. It services major technology firms 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 13 years in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contacts:

Satyajit Sinha


Jeff Fieldhack
+1 858 603 2703

Maurice Klaehne
+1 617 336 8383

Neil Shah
+91 9930218469


Counterpoint Research