Cellular IoT module revenue sees 8% quarterly rise but small YoY drop, says Counterpoint

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Worldwide cellular IoT module revenue increased by 8% over the most recent quarter – but saw a small year on year decline for Q3 2020, according to Counterpoint Research.

The findings, which appear in the analyst firm’s Global Cellular IoT Module and Chipset Tracker, noted the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the market. All regions, apart from the Middle East and Africa (MEA), Latin America and South Korea saw an increase in revenue.

Of the separate segments, NB-IoT modules were the fastest growing segment within cellular IoT, contributing to a record 30% of the global cellular IoT module shipment volumes in Q3 2020.

In terms of specific vendors, Quectel garnered the majority of market share at just under a quarter (24.86%). Alongside Sierra Wireless (10.41% market share), Thales (9.83%) and Telit (8.19%), these four vendors comprise more than half of the overall market.

Quectel, Fibocom and Neoway were the only suppliers who grew their revenues on a year by year basis, Counterpoint added. Fibocom (7.67% market share) acquired Sierra Wireless’s automotive embedded module product line in July, and is predicted to see this move turn in their favour from the fourth quarter onwards. Conversely, it may push Sierra – the second largest supplier by revenue – down, with Fibocom predicted to be one of the top three players globally.

“NB-IoT now contributes to 30% of the total cellular IoT module shipment volumes but only 11% of the total revenue due to the low [average selling price],” said Soumen Mandal, research associate at Counterpoint. “At the same time, the demand for LTE Cat 4 and Cat 1 applications is also rising.”

Mandal noted Cat 1 modules were mostly being deployed in industrial, telematics and asset-tracking applications, with LTE Cat 4 seeing more deployment in automotive, router and enterprise.

“Overall, LTE (Cat 1, Cat 4 and beyond) continues to command the lion’s share of the global cellular IoT module revenues,” added Mandal. “The share of LPWA technologies – NB-IoT and LTE-M – is steadily growing. However, the share of 5G is forecast to grow in coming quarters with the proliferation of CPEs and other applications.”

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