At the end of 2019 there were 7.6 billion active IoT devices, a figure which will grow to 24.1 billion in 2030, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11%, according to new research published by U.K.-based Transforma Insights.

Short range technologies, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee, will dominate connections, accounting for 72% in 2030, largely unchanged compared to the 74% it accounts for today. Public networks, which are dominated by cellular networks, will grow from 1.2 billion connections to 4.7 billion in 2030, growing market share from 16% to 20%. Private networks account for the balance of connections, 10% in 2019 and 8% in 2030.

In revenue terms, the total IoT market in 2019 was worth US$465 billion, a figure which will rise to US$1.5 trillion in 2030. Services, including connectivity, will account for 66% of spend, with the remainder accounted for by hardware, in the form of dedicated IoT devices, modules and gateways.

“The consumer sector will dominate in terms of connected devices, accounting for 65% of all connections, up from 62% in 2019,” the research firm said.

Of the enterprise segment in 2030, 34% of devices will be accounted for by 'cross-vertical' use cases such as generic track-and-trace, office equipment and fleet vehicles, 31% by utilities, most prominently smart meters, 5% by transport and logistics, 4% by government, 4% for agriculture, and 3% each for financial services and retail/wholesale.

The single biggest use case is consumer internet and media devices, which will account for one-third of all devices in 2030. The next largest will be smart grid, including smart meters, representing 14% of connections. Connected vehicles, dominated by connected cars, will be the third biggest category, representing 7% of the global installed base.

In financial terms, the biggest vertical sector is Consumer, generating US$652 billion in revenue, or 43% of the total market value. Cross-vertical applications account for 24%. The remaining 33% is sector-specific applications across sectors such as energy, transport, retail and healthcare.

Geographically, China, North America and Europe will dominate, accounting for 26%, 24% and 23% respectively of the total value of the IoT market in 2030.

Completing these forecasts has been complicated by an unpredictable business environment. "Naturally COVID-19 has loomed large in our consideration when completing these forecasts, having arisen during the process of compiling them,” said principal analyst Matt Arnott.

“In a way the timing could not have been worse, requiring a radical retake halfway through the process. However. it has allowed us to ensure that these forecasts take account of the impact in every number that we publish. A forthcoming press release and blogpost will provide further analysis of the impact of COVID-19 and how we have adjusted our forecasts to reflect the change.”

Further information is available at

Paul Barker