A recent study by iconic Bell Labs has predicted that the number of IoT connected devices is expected to reach 46 billion in next five years. It would grow from 1.6 billion in 2014 to anywhere between 20 to 46 billion by 2020, the study says.
Of this total, cellular IoT devices will be between 1.6 billion and 4.6 billion in 2020. Despite this massive adoption, the overall cellular traffic generated by IoT devices will only account for 2 percent of the total mobile traffic by 2020 until video-enabled sensors and cameras begin to predominate.
However, even in the near term IoT traffic will generate a substantially higher volume of signaling traffic relative to data traffic. For example, a typical IoT device may need 2,500 transactions or connections to consume 1 MB of data, while the same amount of data can be consumed in a single mobile video connection. As a result, daily network connections due to cellular IoT devices will grow by 16 to 135 times by 2020 and will be three times the connections initiated by human generated traffic, says Bell Labs Consulting, a newly formed consulting arm of Nokia Bell Labs.
The report also said that the demand for mobile content would outpace the supply by the telecom service providers in next five years.
“Surging consumer and business demand for mobile content, either at home or on the go, will outpace the ability of service providers to provide it unless investments are accelerated in areas like 5G and the cloud,” it added.
Among many other findings the Nokia Bell Labs Consulting said there will be significant growth in upstream IoT video streaming after 2020.
The report focuses on the future of wireless networking for the new digital era by offering a unique perspective on the intrinsic demand for wireless capacity through 2020. It analyzed the future demand for digital content and services, rather than just looking at past and current mobile traffic trends.