GaN RF power semiconductor devices gained meaningful market share over the last two years, despite a lackluster 2016, with 2017 promising further growth. ABI Research forecasts GaN RF power devices will capture nearly 25 percent of all high power semiconductors for mobile wireless infrastructure in 2017.
The mobile telecoms landscape is changing rapidly, with nationwide 4G deployments near completion in most markets across the world. But the race is far from over, with the first Gigabit LTE networks beginning to appear and offering blazingly fast connections to end users that can reach up to 1Gbps download speeds. ABI Research estimates that the two billion global 4G (LTE) subscribers in early 2017 will rise to exceed four billion during 2022. This means that more than one out of two people globally will be using an LTE network by 2022.
As LTE-Advanced Pro deployments gain momentum across the world, the technology, presented as a successor to current LTE-Advanced networks, is the stepping stone to 5G for mobile operators. LTE-Advanced Pro is available in different flavors and covers an extensive range of use cases. ABI Research forecasts global subscribers for high-speed data throughput will exceed 641 million in 2021, with 87% stemming from Asia Pacific, North America, and Western Europe.
Surging Wi-Fi traffic, new uses cases, and emerging IoT applications will result in a nearly 54% increase in wireless IC shipments by 2020, forecasts ABI Research. The short-range wireless connectivity market technologies—including ZigBee, Thread, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, and NFC—will continue to evolve to meet new market demands, as evident with various new and upcoming enhancements.
ABI Research forecasts non-cellular LPWA technologies from INGENU, LoRa Alliance, SIGFOX, SENSUS, and Telensa will command the leading share of LPWA connections, which see non-cellular LPWA endpoints outnumbering their cellular LPWA counterparts by more than 12% in 2021. Both cellular and non-cellular LPWA markets benefit from a growing base of connections in smart meters and emerging IoT applications, such as in street lighting, parking, environmental monitoring, and asset tracking.
With four billion IoT devices expected to rely on Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) by 2025, ABI Research predicts that this technology will be the fastest growing connectivity segment in the market through 2025. The rise of LPWANs will translate into one billion chipset shipments with the technology generating a total value of more than $2 billion in 2025.
The GNSS market landscape is expanding due to the rapid growth of GNSS-enabled wearables and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) coupled with new innovation opportunities around low-cost precision GNSS. In its latest GNSS IC vendor competitive analysis, ABI Research determines Broadcom and Qualcomm remain the two top IC vendors for the fourth year in a row with a mere two points separating MediaTek in third from u-blox in fourth. New threats emerge to shake up the landscape in the years ahead, though, with CEC Huada and Samsung now companies to watch.
In its latest coverage update on the cellular M2M module market, ABI Research forecasts that cellular M2M module shipments will exceed 400 million in 2021. This is an increase over previous forecasts, driven in part by operator announcements of accelerated rollouts of NB-IoT networks.
While mobile network operators and vendors meet current market demands with LTE-A and LTE-A Pro, pre-standard 5G millimeter wave deployments are imminent. ABI Research forecasts that 5G in the cm and mm wave bands will reach nearly $200 billion in cumulative service revenues by 2026 while LTE, LTE-A, and LTE-A Pro exceed five billion subscriptions.
The 802.11ad (WiGig) chipset market is set to reach a critical juncture in 2017 when the technology hits higher adoption levels in the mobile and computing space. ABI Research forecasts 180 million WiGig chipsets will ship to the smartphone market in 2017, with smartphone chipsets accounting for almost half of the 1.5 billion total market shipments in 2021.