Frost & Sullivan: Smart cities to fuel APAC’s IoT market
When it comes the Internet of Things (IoT), the Asia Pacific market is buoyant, finds Frost & Sullivan, predicting it to reach $436.77 billion in revenue by 2026, up from $96bn in 2020, a CAGR of 28.52%.
According to Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, this buoyancy of APAC’s IoT market, which is being driven by growing investments 4G/LTE and 5G, reduced IoT sensor costs, and government support, is being transformed specifically by Mega Trends, including the integration of edge-computing networks into IoT systems and new narrow-band (NB) IoT deployments.
In fact, according to Frost & Sullivan, the region accounts for 40% of global Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) connections, with NB-IoT accounting for 97% of them.
"We forecast that the rise of NB-IoT technology will benefit low-resource IoT devices penetration,” says Hemangi Patel, Information and Communication Technology Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan, adding that “NB-IoT is expected to be an integral part of IoT connectivity, addressing requirements related to low-bandwidth, low-speed connections in utilities, industries, and households”.
Unsurprisingly, China leads IoT spending, accounting for more than half of the Asia Pacific market, followed by Japan and Australia.
Smart cities to fuel growth
Government spending on smart cities accounts for nearly a third of the region's combined spending, followed by transportation and logistics, then manufacturing. The pandemic however hasnegatively impacted customers' transformation journeys across several industry verticals, resulting in delays in projects such as integrating innovative technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), Blockchain, and cloud adoption.
According to Patel, on a macro level, increasing government focus on smart cities and Industry 4.0 initiatives is driving demand for digital IoT solutions across APAC. This includes eGovernment, public transportation, smart traffic management systems, and smart power grids. “Given their portfolios ranging from business application solutions to data analytics and end-to-end platforms, telcos are set to become IoT one-stop solution providers,” adds Patel.
In order to capitalise on the region's lucrative IoT market, Frost & Sullivan recommends companies focus on the below growth opportunities:
- Telecom operators can monetise IoT deployments further Vendors should extend their services portfolios by including various other services management features, such as connectivity management, data security, and data routing.
- Multi-cloud as the future of IoT Cloud providers need to include collaborative tools that enable customers to share knowledge on a common platform. Vendors should move beyond offering cloud computation capabilities and provide additional value-added services, such as automation capabilities that enhance computation power.
- Manufacturing and Smart City initiatives Vendors must offer integrated IoT solutions and develop horizontal capabilities. In manufacturing, emerging application areas include predictive maintenance, remote monitoring, and connected operational intelligence. Smart lighting, security and surveillance, and waste management are critical for smart cities.
First Solar to Invest US$684mn in Indian Energy Sector
First Solar is about to set up a new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. The 3.3GW factory will create 1,000 skilled jobs and is expected to launch its operations in Q3 of 2023. According to the company, India needs 25+ gigawatts of solar energy to be deployed each year for the next nine years. This means that many of First Solar’s Indian clients will jump at the chance to have access to the company’s advanced PV.
Said Mark Widmar, First Solar’s CEO: ‘India is an attractive market for First Solar not simply because our module technology is advantageous in its hot, humid climate. It’s an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy’.
A Bit of Background
First Solar is a leading global provider of photovoltaic systems. It uses advanced technology to generate clear, reliable energy around the world. And even though it’s headquartered in the US, the company has invested in storage facilities around the world. It displaced energy requirements for a desalination plant in Australia, launched a source of reliable energy in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), and deployed over 4.5GW of energy across Europe with its First Solar modules.
The company is also known for its solar innovation, reporting that it sees gains in efficiency three times faster than multi-crystalline silicon technology. First Solar holds world records in thin-film cell conversion efficiency (22.1%) and module conversion efficiency (18.2%). Finally, it helps its partners develop, finance, design, construct, and operate PV power plants—which is exactly what we’re talking about.
How Will The Tamil Nadu Plant Work?
Tamil Nadu will use the same manufacturing template as First Solar’s new Ohio factory. According to the Times of India, the factory will combine skilled workers, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, and IoT connectivity. In addition, its operations will adhere to First Solar’s Responsible Sourcing Solar Principles, produce modules with a 2.5x lower carbon footprint, and help India become energy-independent. Said Widmar: ‘Our advanced PV module will be made in India, for India’.
After all, we must mention that part of First Solar’s motivation in Tamil Nadu is to ensure that India doesn’t rely on Chinese solar. ‘India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidised global dominance of the crystalline silicon supply chain’, Widmar explained. ‘That’s precisely the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits’.
According to First Solar, India’s model should be a template for like-minded nations. Widmar added: ‘We’re pleased to support the sustainable energy ambitions of a major US ally in the Asia-Pacific region—with American-designed solar technology’. To sum up: Indian solar power is yet the next development in the China-US trade war. Let the PV manufacturing begin.