More Devices Available: 5G and Wireless Device Market Keeps Growing, Growing, and Growing


GSA data shows there are now at least 2,147 commercially available 5G devices from 240 manufacturers, rising at a clip of 50% a year.

The global economy may have been hitting some headwinds, but the 5G and 3GPP-complaint device market shows no signs of letting up from its upward growth, as companies embrace IoT-related networks and autonomous systems.

That’s the latest conclusion out of the Global Mobile Suppliers Association, which shows not only growing participation from vendors, but also acceleration in a number of sectors.

In terms of 5G, the latest GSA data shows there are now at least 2,147 commercially available 5G devices from 240 manufacturers, rising at a clip of 50% a year. These devices are designed to generate and handle data for a wide range of purposes, from mobile phones to factory production systems.

5G networks also represent a part of IoT, which is underpinning major industry initiatives worldwide, in areas such as connected and autonomous vehicles, connected or smart homes, agriculture, robotics, smart industry, smart cities and smart energy, GSA also reports. “Companies are actively working on IoT use cases involving Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) and Long-Term Evolution for Machines (LTE-M) networks. “The market has been boosted by the greater need for remote operations during the pandemic,” the GSA authors report. “We expect the IoT market to grow rapidly over the next five years and for 3GPP technologies to gain market share.”

See also: IoT Connections To Grow by 400% In Four Years

GSA estimates that there are now 254 operators that have deployed or launched NB-IoT or LTE-M networks in 81 countries. In addition, 173 operators are actively investing in NB-IoT technology, and 128 have deployed or commercially launched NB-IoT networks. The GSA researchers also report “a significant rise in both the number and range of devices supporting 3GPP IoT standards since September 2022.” Currently, there are 1,366 devices supporting these standards on the market.

In addition, IoT infrastructure, chipsets, modules and devices “are now available from a range of companies — large and small, well-established and start-ups,” the report states. “The increasing size of the 3GPP ecosystem will further drive commercialization and economies of scale in IoT, with mobile operators, infrastructure suppliers, chipset and module manufacturers, device companies and development and testing houses supporting new services.”

3GPP, or 3rd Generation Partnership Project, covers the leading efforts by standards organizations to develop protocols for mobile communications. “The mobile industry continues to demonstrate its commitment to the range of low-power wide area network technologies based on 3GPP standards,” according to GSA.


About Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick is RTInsights Industry Editor and industry analyst focusing on artificial intelligence, digital, cloud and Big Data topics. His work also appears in Forbes an Harvard Business Review. Over the last three years, he served as co-chair for the AI Summit in New York, as well as on the organizing committee for IEEE's International Conferences on Edge Computing. (full bio). Follow him on Twitter @joemckendrick.

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