The evolution towards industry 4.0 is leading many companies to implement IoT devices to expand the monitoring of their infrastructure and automate operations in factories and other facilities. As the number of connected points increases, it is essential to have gateways with modern connectivity technologies, such as the latest cellular network standards, which are accelerating the update of IoT gateways.
According to researchers at ABI Research, the IoT gateway market is set to overgrow over the next four years, potentially reaching a value of $48 billion by 2026. This technological evolution will see 3G-based IoT gateways reduce their share to marginal levels by next year, replacing Cat-1 gateways. And the equipment based on 4G and 5G will notably increase their presence in this period.
As Abdullah Haider, IoT Services and Networks Analyst at ABI Research, explains, By 2026, cellular gateway shipments will exceed 127 million units worldwide, with a CAGR of over 23% between 2021 and 2026. However, he clarifies that this technological transition will not be without difficulties since WAN endpoint devices are gaining popularity, reducing the need for traditional gateways.
In his opinion, in critical segments of IoT applications, such as patient monitoring in the healthcare industry, short-range wireless connection equipment is being replaced by EPOC and PERS devices connected to a cellular WAN. However, conventional gateways will still retain their usefulness, for example, for industrial monitoring. And Haider says that ” short-range wireless (SRW) devices are more practical for indoor deployments .”
ABI Research forecasts that new uses for IoT gateways will emerge in the coming years, for example, in fleet management, where they will extend the life of existing transportation vehicles. And also in home monitoring, where cellular gateways will provide connectivity for use cases like remote healthcare. Haider explains that competition is increasing in the segment of innovative home solutions with gateway architecture. Mainly in voice control front-end devices and smart TVs with gateway features that complement their core services.