Over the course of 2018 the market for Internet of Things has exploded dramatically. Companies throughout the sector far exceeded revenue expectations, particularly IoT software and cloud companies.

Given the current trajectory of the market, IoT Analytics projects that the number of connected IoT devices will grow to 10 billion by 2020 and 22 billion by 2025 (although this number does not take into consideration IoT devices bought in the past but are no longer used). Among these devices, there are a variety of different connection types used for different applications.

The most common among these are Wireless Personal Networks or WPANs, which make up the majority of IoT devices. WPAN technology is short range, with most devices having a maximum range of 100m or smaller. Devices that use this include Bluetooth headsets, Zigbee, and most smart home devices like connected smoke alarms and thermostats.

The second most populated category is devices that use Wireless Local Area Networks or WLANs. These are primarily Wi-Fi connected devices such as digital assistants, smart TVs, and smart speakers but a rapidly growing portion are industrial applications like factories.

Another common option is a Wired connection, often the cheapest and most reliable option. Ethernet and fieldbuses remain the primary standard for these devices, being mainly deployed into industrial settings.

A large chunk of the future growth of IoT devices is expected to come from Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs). LPWANs provide extremely long battery life and a maximum range of over 20 kilometers. Unlike Wi-Fi, LPWANs have a few competing standards in Sigfox, Lora, LTE-M and NB-IoT, all of which are being rolled out worldwide with already over 25 million devices connected, of which the majority are smart meters.

5G, which promises a new era of connectivity through its low latency and huge bandwidth. 5G is seen as a wildcard in the industry, as the final standard will not be ratified until 2020, and although fast widespread adoption is expected among consumers it the effect it will have on the IoT market is unclear.

AtomBeam helps devices connected to all these IoT WAN technologies save bandwidth, reduce latency, and extend battery life by efficiently and effectively performing data reduction on both large and small scales. Many WANs have strict bandwidth and packet size limitations, most notably LPWANs, AtomBeam’s unique data reduction approach is uniquely suited to reducing the small packets used on these networks more effectively then compression.

This blog post is primarily adapted from IoT Analytics’ article “State of the IoT 2018: Number of IoT devices now at 7B – Market accelerating” by Knud Lasse Lueth https://bit.ly/2RsJqJ2