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Wireless Technologies to Comprise 55% of Connectivity IC Shipments in 2018, IHS Markit Says

Published: Jun 14,2018

Driven by the colossal Internet of Things (IoT) opportunity, wireless technologies—including wireless local area network (WLAN), Bluetooth, cellular and low-power wireless—will account for 55 percent of connectivity integrated circuit (IC) shipments in 2018, according to a new report from business information provider IHS Markit.

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Over the next five years, wireless connectivity will play an increasingly crucial role in market segments including automotive and transportation, commercial and industrial electronics, communications, computers, consumer and medical.

“Massive IoT use cases requiring long battery life, deep coverage and mobility are fueling demand for cellular and low-power wireless,” said Julian Watson, senior principal analyst for IoT at IHS Markit.

“WLAN, Bluetooth and Zigbee are already entrenched in the home automation and consumer electronics segments. And in the coming years, wireless is going to have a huge impact on industries such as healthcare, where providers will lean heavily on wireless connectivity to track and trace costly equipment across large sites and to monitor the condition of patients within domestic settings.”

The IoT opportunity is also spurring competition among wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Long Term Evolution (LTE) and challengers like long-range wide area network (LoRaWAN), Sigfox and Thread. “The diversity of IoT use cases requires multiple technologies, and because of this we’ll see competition between technologies intensify,” Watson said.

“The end result is that connectivity technologies will either compete, complement or combine—and whatever is most cost-effective will win out.”

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