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The number of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and devices is expected to exceed the number of mobile devices by 2018, according to a report on mobile devices from Ericsson. IoT connected devices include cars, machines, utility meters, remote metering and consumer electronics and wearable devices. The number of deployed sensors and devices is growing at an annual rate of 23 percent and that there will globally be 16 billion by 2021.
Part of the reason for the rapid growth is because prices for device and sensor costs is rapidly dropping. An acceleration is expected to happen in 2020 with the introduction of 5G networks that will include additional capabilities like network slicing that will help increase network capacity beyond what is capable today.
Ulf Ewaldsson, chief technology officer at Ericsson, said that “IoT is now accelerating as device costs fall and innovative applications emerge. 5G is the next big step in mobile communication technologies. It will help realise the vision of essentially unlimited access to information and sharing of data anywhere and anytime for anyone and anything. 5G will enable new applications and use cases in areas such as cloud-enabled robotics and intelligent transportation that can benefit people, business and society—and it will therefore help realise the full potential of the Networked Society.”