Counterpoint: Qualcomm has about half of the market share of the cellular Internet of Things module in the first quarter of 2022.
Anish Khajuria, research analyst at Counterpoint, says about the market dynamics of these modules: “Qualcomm, UNISOC and ASR Cellular hold the top three positions in the global IoT module chipset market in the first quarter of 2022 and account for nearly 75% of the total supply. In China, Unisoc, Qualcomm and ASR [respectively] have been the top players in terms of supply. Elsewhere in the world, Qualcomm led the way, followed by UNISOC and Sequans. [In addition to technology] 4G (including Cat 1 and Cat 1 bis) has had a 79% year-on-year growth this quarter.
In its report, Counterpoint has mentioned the details of the performance of the top three IoT module chipset manufacturers, which we will review below:
Company With 42% market share and 30% annual growth in nine of the ten key regions of the world, Qualcomm has taken the leading position in the production of cellular IoT modules. But competition from local Chinese players including UNISOC and ASR in key fast-growing segments of this technology, such as cellular LTE Cat-1/Cat-1 bis technologies and low-bandwidth Internet of Things or NB-IoT, limits Qualcomm’s growth opportunities in the world’s largest IoT market, China has limited. However, expanding its IoT chip portfolio, Qualcomm is targeting advanced 4G and 5G solutions for vertical markets such as retail, automotive, industrial robotics and smart cities. The company also collaborates with software and industrial technology companies, including Microsoft, ZTE, BMW and Bosch, in the field of “high-value artificial intelligence” and Internet of Things capabilities on fifth generation networks (known as the 5G AIoT segment). /p>
The second prominent company in the field of cellular Internet of Things module production in the world with a 26% market share in the field of fourth generation technologies (Cat 1 and Cat 2 bis) and NB-IoT successful performance had. The company’s cellular Internet of Things chipset supply has always been on the growth path during the past five seasons, and the shortage is due to the absence of HiSilicon (dependent on Huawei) in the market. In addition, this company has continued to move towards advanced cellular technologies such as 4G Cat4+ and fifth generation. The Chinese company UNISOC has also been able to expand its customer base and add companies such as China Mobile, Fibocom, Quectel and other market players around the world to its customer list. This has caused more than a quarter of the volume of supply in the first quarter of 2022 to belong to UNISOC. Along with these, the Chinese company is looking at more general and low-level applications such as smart meters, point of sale terminals and industrial use with stronger demand for the Cat1 bis 8910DM chipset.
After these two, the Chinese company ASR Microelectronics with strong performance in the 4G Cat 1 and 4G Cat 4 segments and high volume Supply in these areas has maintained its third rank in the first quarter of this year, and of course, China is still a key market for this company. ASR has not yet launched NB-IoT and 5G solutions and therefore needs to focus more on its long-term capabilities and strategy to sustain the growth trend that can continue until 2025. According to Counterpoint, the Chinese company has increased its production capacity this year and is trying to take advantage of the demand in the market. Also, local partnerships with several key players in 4G Cat 1 and Cat 4 technologies, including Longsung, SIMCom, Neoway, Quectel and Rinlink, have increased the company’s reach.
Neil Shah, Vice President of Counterpoint Research, referring to the existing competitive environment, believes that the competition among cellular modem module manufacturers has increased greatly with the introduction of the Internet of Things category and the related technology needs, and companies Several have turned to producing LPWA chips, including LTE-M and NB-IoT, as well as lower-end segments such as 4G LTE (Cat1 and Cat 1 bis). In the meantime, market players such as Qualcomm and MediaTek have focused on integrated and higher volume 4G LTE and 5G segments. By entering the 5G era, the effort to move from two-chip based production (separate MCU next to the cellular modem) to an integrated solution will be realized. From Shah’s point of view, the addition of artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to the advanced applications of the future cellular Internet of Things has also accelerated this process. “However, low-power and less advanced applications will continue to be prevalent in the next decade, and we can see the adoption of integrated chip-based solutions,” he continues. But separate and specific solutions will eventually dominate this market and create significant opportunities for companies such as Xinyi, Eigencomm, Sony Semi, Sequans, ASR, UNISOC and Nordic Semi.”
Although Mediatech is The first quarter of this year took the fourth place, overall and compared to the smartphone chip market, it does not focus much on the cellular Internet of Things market. This issue is one of the reasons why Mediatek is limited to a 5% share of this market. The Taiwanese company also puts a lot of emphasis on improving the capabilities of the fifth generation and has recently unveiled the Kompanio 900T; A new fifth generation platform that can be used in tablets, notebooks and other devices based on the Internet of Things. In addition, Counterpoint’s report shows that the use of the previously released MediaTek T750 chip in fixed 5G wireless routers, or FWAs, and customer equipment is also on the way to growth.
The company recorded the highest annual growth of 869% in the first quarter of 2022 thanks to effective cooperation with Quectel and Fibocom in the field of NB-IoT modules. However, the brand should do more to support cellular technologies beyond NB-IoT, and diversify its product portfolio beyond China’s borders.
This Chinese company has been the second fastest growing market producer with an impressive annual growth of 230%. Similar to Eigencomm, Xinyi is currently focusing on NB-IoT chips and the China region. However, in the medium term, it should cooperate more with major module manufacturers, including Quectel, China Mobile, Fibocom, SIMCom, Cheerzing, Longsung, MeiG and Ai-Link, and shift to newer cellular technologies to maintain its growth trend and market share.
This company is one of the manufacturers that in the first quarter of this year, relying on its 4G chip set, low-power long-range or LPWA and 5G technologies and taking advantage of Increased demand in key markets such as smart meters, healthcare and asset tracking managed to drive growth. After UNISOC, Sequans is the second manufacturer to commercialize 4G Cat-1 bis chips in order to increase its market share and succeed in the competition for the design of Cat 1 bis-based IoT products.
Sony Semicon has also seen good growth in this quarter through close cooperation with Sierra Wireless and Wistron NeWeb and paying special attention to the market of smart meters, asset trackers and smart cities. Of course, this company is only focused on the production of low-power long-range technologies with features such as low energy consumption and high security in chipsets.