The figure will double by 2026 to 4.3 billion, reports Berg Insight
Cellular IoT connections grew 22 per cent to reach 2.1 billion last year according to Berg Insight figures.
The IoT market research firm reported that strong regional markets China, Western Europe and North America continued to grow amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Berg Insight expect the number to more than double by 2026 to 4.3 billion IoT connected devices globally.
The majority of cellular IoT connections come from the top 10 mobile operators, with these MNOs reporting an active base of 1.8 billion cellular IoT connections, accounting for 86 per cent of total connections.
A large quantity of these come from China, with China Mobile the world’s largest provider of IoT connectivity with an estimated 801 million cellular IoT connections, ahead of China Unicom (300m) and China Telecom (297m).
Meanwhile Vodafone was fourth overall and led the way among the Western operators with 142 million connections.
Embedded SIMS, or more commonly known as eSIMs is one of the strongest trends within the IoT connectivity market, adds Berg Insight.