Vodafone: 3.3B devices will trade with each other by 2030

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According to a new report, the number of connected devices trading directly with each other is expected to reach 3.3 billion by 2030.

The report, commissioned by Vodafone and conducted by STL Partners, projects a significant increase from the current 88 million devices trading in 2024. Furthermore, it highlights the rapid growth of the Economy of Things (EoT) and its potential to create new markets and revenue streams for businesses.

The EoT refers to a future where vehicles, devices, and machines can interact and transact with each other through a secure digital platform. The report predicts that EoT will account for more than 10 percent of the overall Internet of Things (IoT) market by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 68 percent.

Recognising the business opportunity, Vodafone entered the EoT market in 2022 with its Digital Asset Broker (DAB) platform. The platform allows businesses from various sectors to connect their products instantly, eliminating the need to build complex systems.

Jorge Bento, CEO of DAB at Vodafone, said:

“IoT has always operated in siloes, with devices only communicating within the domain of the supplier of the device.

Frictionless interoperability between devices, people and sensors in the IoT domain and beyond provides an enormous monetisation opportunity for our partners and business customers.”

Devices and services connected to the DAB platform are verified as trustworthy, enabling secure data and money exchange between them. This verification process assures consumers that they are dealing with reliable devices from a trusted authority.

David Palmer, Head of Product Management for DAB at Vodafone, added:

“The huge opportunity and primary source of revenue for the EoT comes from generating data from IoT devices and sensors in real-time.

These incorporate AI algorithms to generate monetisable events for subsequent transactions through smart contracts.”

The EoT presents a vast opportunity for data monetisation. Currently, around 75 percent of data generated by connected IoT devices cannot be shared across different devices and systems. Through greater industry-wide cooperation, the EoT can unlock the untapped value of this data resource. Interoperability between devices, people, and sensors will allow for seamless communication, trade, and transactions across multiple systems and environments.

Connected vehicles are predicted to have the most EoT-enabled devices by 2030. The maturity of vehicle telematics and the value of data collected by vehicles make them prime candidates for EoT integration.

Additionally, the report forecasts that there will be over 1.2 billion EoT-enabled smart grid devices and 700 million supply chain devices by 2030. Smart grids can utilise IoT data analysed with AI to predict energy demand and sell surplus capacity back to the grid.

Mark Williamson, Global Head of FX Partnerships and Propositions at HSBC, commented: 

“There are so many opportunities with the EoT so it is important to think about where it will progress fast in its first stages.

There is a lot of interest and penetration in the motoring and EV worlds, and this will be a key starting point.”

To enter the EoT ecosystem successfully, the report highlights key guiding principles for individuals, businesses, and public sector organisations. These principles emphasise data sharing that respects user control and privacy. For example, household IoT machine data can be shared with energy players to optimise energy management without invading privacy.

As the EoT continues to grow, businesses have the opportunity to tap into new markets and revenue streams. The report by STL Partners provides recommendations on how businesses can take advantage of the EoT ecosystem.

The full report can be found here (PDF)

(Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)

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