Chip giant Qualcomm led the global cellular Internet of Things (IoT) module chipset shipments in the first quarter this year, capturing a third of the market with 36.1 per cent share, according to a new report. Global cellular IoT module shipments were reduced by 28 per cent in Q1 2020 from the same quarter last year due to the negative impact of Covid-19 outbreak, according to latest research from Counterpoint ‘Global Cellular IoT Module and Chipset Tracker’.
However, IoT module shipments based on the Low Power Wireless Access (LPWA) technology increased by 51 per cent during the quarter, offsetting the decline in automotive and other mobility applications.
“Qualcomm is leading the share of chipset shipments powering the IoT cellular modules. Diversifying product offerings, robust supply chain network, innovation and price competitiveness have helped Qualcomm maintain collaboration with major cellular IoT module players,” said Neil Shah, Vice-President Research at Counterpoint.
With the shift in focus for Intel away from the cellular modem business, growth opportunities open up for other chipset brands. “MediaTek, UNISOC, Hisilicon, Sony (Altair Semi) and newer players such as ASR and Nordic Semi will look to increase their overall market share globally,” Shah said.
Driven by a wider geographic reach, faster time-to-market, excellent IoT application support, aggressive marketing and a broader portfolio, Quectel managed to retain top spot in the global cellular IoT module market.
“However, Meig, Huawei and SIMCom did well to compete with Quectel. Further, cost-effectiveness is helping other Chinese players like Fibocom, MobileTek, Lierda and Neoway to increase share in the global cellular IoT module market,” said research associate Soumen Mandal.
The average price of IoT modules decreased by 12 per cent (YoY) in Q1 2020. “Industrial, enterprise and automotive are top application areas for cellular IoT modules. With the rising connectivity and autonomy in automobiles, demand for 4G and 5G modules will rise in coming years,” said senior analyst Aman Madhok.
Smart manufacturing and smart industry applications in the age of Industry 4.0 will see increasing demand for cellular IoT modules to reduce power consumption, increase efficiency in the production process and connect machines to cloud for optimal business planning, he added.
China will dominate the global cellular IoT module market in coming years, with North America and western Europe emerging as important markets. “With more deployments of 5G networks around the world, the demand for 5G modules will increase,” said research associate Fahad Siddiqui.