Internet of Things Forecast: 28 Billion Connected Devices, Much More Speed

The amount of data expected to be generated by billions of Internet-connected devices is almost too large to fathom.

Even more bewildering is how all that data will get to where it needs to go.

And that’s where network speed and capacity come in, both of which have been roaring along with the growth of The Internet of Things.

This matters to marketers since the messaging that will travel along The Internet of Things will take a lot more space and speed than a banner ad.

As context, there are just over 7 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide, with about 3 billion of them being smartphones. By 2021, the number of mobile phone subscriptions will hit 9 billion, with 6 billion of them being smartphones, according to a new detailed report that tracks such things.

Historically, mobile phones have been the largest category of connected devices, the report notes. For example, there are only just over 2 billion PCs in the world, going to 3 billion in five years.

But the number of other connected devices is changing the mix, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report; On the Pulse of the Networked Society, which comprised a combination of historical data combined with Ericsson internal data, including extensive measurements in customer networks.

By the end of this year, there will be about 400 million machine-to-machine (M2M) and consumer electronic devices with cellular subscriptions.

However, the total number of connected devices is projected to grow 25% a year, reaching 28 billion by 2021, with 15 billion of them being connected M2M and consumer electronic devices.

No matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of connected things.

To handle the data flow and ultimately the marketing messaging among all these connected things will be the next generation network dubbed 5G, with the U.S. Japan, China and South Korea the first countries where 5G subscriptions will be available.

(One would think that with all the marketing dollars available to telecommunications companies, they could come up with a better name for versions or generations of cellular networks other than “G” – as in we’re moving from 3G to 4G to 5G. Gee.)

In any case, 5G is still a few years out.

But the network speed that’s coming will change how messaging and digital advertising is created, delivered and received.

For example, consumers will be able to download an entire movie in high definition in a few seconds and Verizon tests have shown 5G to be 30 to 50 times faster than the current 4G.

This means that more audio and video, along with real-time voice recognition, will be an intricate part of consumer IoT interactions. There are plenty of other implications, but you get the idea.

The Internet of Things will involve fast communication.


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