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Ovum's IoT team discusses the key IoT announcements and trends from MWC 2018, including LPWAN, data monetization strategies, and new connectivity business models.


  • MWC showed momentum behind licensed spectrum 3GPPP LPWAN technologies. NB-IoT is currently building a stronger ecosystem, in part because of development focus in China. 5G use cases were also a hot topic. Differentiation will come as different types of use cases scale up.
  • New operator business models for IoT include MVNO approaches, flat-rate pricing, and global connectivity propositions. eSIM is an area of growing interest, especially for the last of these.
  • New ways to monetize IoT data were highlighted – these include smart data hubs as platforms or exchanges for data (e.g., in smart cities), and the development of new cognitive and AI capabilities to leverage IoT data. Smart cities, industrial, and automotive were the verticals of choice; some interesting healthcare applications were also demoed.

Features and Benefits

  • Assesses the key IoT trends emerging from MWC 2018.
  • Compares announcements and strategies from leading market players.
  • Provides a forward view on the implications for service providers and vendors.

Key questions answered

  • What were the most important IoT trends at MWC 2018?
  • Which technologies, new business models, use cases and provider strategies are showing momentum?
  • What key challenges are still constraining IoT development?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for enterprises and vendors

From NB-IoT to 5G, diverse IoT connectivity options will continue

  • 2018 will be the year of NB-IoT and LTE-M commercialization
  • Importance of China as a testbed for NB-IoT/massive IoT

New connectivity business models for the IoT

  • Flat-rate, no-frills IoT pricing models – the IoT MVNO arrives
  • New options for global IoT connectivity

New ways to monetize IoT data

  • Central IoT data hubs, open APIs, and application marketplaces
  • AI and analytics initiatives and acquisitions

Smart cities, industrial, and automotive were the verticals of choice

  • Key IoT verticals emerge at MWC 2018


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author