IoT revenue opportunity to exceed $1 trillion by 2025

More than half of IoT devices will be deployed in enterprises as the market shifts away from connectivity

A collection of IoT devices

The global Internet of Things (IoT) market will exceed $1 trillion in value by 2025, with more than half of connected devices set to be deployed in business settings.

While the revenue opportunity is projected to be $1.1 trillion worldwide, the market will shift away from connectivity, and instead towards platforms, applications and services, according to forecasts by GSMA, a global trade body representing mobile network operators.

Of the 25.2 billion devices expected by 2025 - 6.3 billion more than in 2016 - those deployed within enterprises of vertical-specific applications will account for more than half; 13.8 billion devices versus only 11.4 billion in the consumer market, predominantly driven by developments in the smart home market.

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Meanwhile, the Asia Pacific region is forecast to become the largest region both in terms of revenue and number of connections, accounting for 35% of revenue, $386 billion, and 44% of connections, 11 billion - with GSMA also suggesting the growth of just China's GDP from IoT is expected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2030.

"As the number of connected consumer devices and industrial machines grow rapidly, the IoT ecosystem will evolve to become a trillion-dollar market over the course of the next decade," said Sylwia Kechiche, principal Analyst IoT at GSMA Intelligence.

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"But the IoT revenue opportunity is shifting away from simply connecting devices to addressing specific sectors with tailored solutions, and successful ecosystem players will need to adapt their business models in line with these market trends."

Connectivity revenue will grow in the period to 2025, but this will only account for 5% of the trillion-dollar revenue opportunity projected. More than two-thirds of this market share will fall on platforms, applications and services, while professional services, including system integration, managed services and consulting, will account for the remaining share.

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"It's well understood that connectivity will represent only a fraction of the total IoT opportunity. Complementing our IoT connections data with this major new dataset and analysis on IoT revenue provides a comprehensive and realistic view on where market opportunities exist for operators, vendors, integrators, and everyone else playing in the IoT ecosystem," said Peter Jarich, Head of GSMA Intelligence.

The IoT market has certainly in recent years been expanding into a variety of sectors, for example, in health. Earlier this month a Scottish hospital began trialling IoT-powered medical beds, so these could be monitored more efficiently as they moved through the building.

But as the IoT market expands, so will concerns over the growing attack surface that deploying billions more connected devices will bring, underlined by a spate of security issues involving IoT devices in recent months. In April, for instance, more than 168,000 unpatched IoT devices, located via the Shodan IoT search engine, were targeted by attackers believed to be "associated with nation state actors".

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