COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
As fear and panic runs high with the pandemic raging on, there is one thing that is becoming increasingly clear and that is the world is not ready for a pandemic. Governance failures, cover-ups, denial, dysfunctions, political and institutional failures have resulted in lost opportunities in mitigating the pandemic. Under-prepared healthcare systems and critical shortages of medical essentials are pushing up the human cost of the pandemic to unbelievable highs. Cornered with limited available options, governments worldwide have been forced to choke off the economy via harsh social distancing measures. With the global economy now in shambles, it is a rough weather forecast for Cellular Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Modules in the immediate to short-term period. The market will however grow in the post crisis period to reach a projected global market size of US$4. 9 billion by 2027. Among the three types of IoT - Massive IoT, Broadband IoT, Critical IoT and Industrial Automation IoT, non-critical IoT also known as Massive IoT will be hard hit. For example, non-critical IoT ecosystems will feel the pain as interest in consumer IoT devices/smart homes declines as consumer confidence plummets and unemployment skyrockets. Fleet management IoT, a major application area for cellular M2M modules, will face the brunt of disruptions in transportation, logistics and mobility. Innovations in autonomous cars and smart cars will witness delays as a result of technology investment crunch and lack of consumer appetite for new vehicles and technologies which will take a long time to recover. The general decline in industrial and consumer consumption and the resulting fall in demand for goods and services mean enterprise technology plans will come under pressure including IoT CAPEX. Although connectivity needs of all industries have been amplified by the current pandemic, liquidity and financial resources will remain a challenge among all sectors including consumer electronics, automotive, railway, mining, utilities, agriculture, manufacturing and transportation sectors. Healthcare telemetric, healthcare device management and Industrial IoT however will post quicker recovery as the pandemic makes remote access and automation important.
In recent years, cellular M2M has emerged as the ideal option for companies seeking to connect assets over long distances, despite the competing availability and spiraling popularity of connectivity over IP based networks like the Internet, cloud, and enterprise LAN, WAN and WLAN. A key reason cited for this trend is the proven effectiveness and reliability of cellular networks like CDMA, GSM, 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE. Other major benefits favoring cellular M2M over alternatives such as Wi-Fi, RFID (radio frequency identification), ZigBee and Bluetooth, even for short distance M2M connectivity and communication include easy integration and lower cost of deployment. Plummeting mobile data tariffs, expanding bandwidth and low latency benefits accompanying the launch of 4G/LTE are additionally strengthening cellular networks as a reliable transmission and connectivity technology for M2M applications. In the post-COVID-19 period, several industry and vertical markets are projected to adopt cellular M2M solutions as a simple and cost-effective way to intelligently communicate in a connected world. The launch of 5G will boost growth of cellular IoT. Digital transformation of industries will become critically tied to cellular IoT. With powerful, ultra-reliable and/or ultra-low latency capabilities, 5G networks will become a game changer for time-critical IoT communications which now heavily relies on 4G networks based on Cat-M/NB-IoT and Broadband IoT based on LTE.