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IoT growth in MENA impresses

LIVE FROM MOBILE 360 MENA, DUBAI: IoT connections in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region experienced a growth rate second only to Asia Pacific, with a CAGR of 16 per cent expected to boost connections from 396 million in 2018 to 1.1 billion in 2025.

A new GSMA Intelligence (GSMAi) report, Realising the potential of IoT in MENA, shows initiatives from governments and the mobile industry are expected to be fundamental in helping IoT revenues reach $55 billion by 2025, an annual growth rate of 19 per cent.

“The commitment to, and innovation in, IoT seen across MENA is also expected to benefit the GDP of the regional economy to the tune of $18 billion in 2025,” up from $8.5 billion in 2018, GSMAi wrote in the report.

[1]In 2019, the consumer and industrial IoT segments have taken equal shares of total IoT connections (see chart left, click to enlarge), but industrial IoT is where most of the growth will occur, reaching 57 per cent of total connections by 2025, driven by an increase in smart utilities, retail and city deployments.

While IoT in the region is still nascent, the analyst group noted its share of global IoT revenues is approaching 6 per cent, significantly ahead of its economic share of GDP, which is just under 4 per cent.

Operators need to generate IoT revenue
The research also highlighted the need for operators to step-up to the task ahead and move beyond just a connectivity role.

“To take a greater share of the IoT revenue opportunity, operators need to move beyond connectivity into strategic partnerships with ecosystem players and even governments to launch new value-added services.”

GSMAi highlighted a number of recent successful operator-led partnerships between carriers and third parties, including Etisalat UAE’s smart fire alarm solution Hassantuk for Homes via a deal with the Ministry of Interior, and operator du and healthcare incubation platform company OLEA showcasing a number of smart health devices.


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