Tracking rail carts with GPS and cellular could bring value to the rail sector; however, penetration rates on rail carts are currently very low (globally less than 50,000 in 2014), and growth is not forecasted to be very strong over the next 5 years, or even the next 10, according to ABI Research. Therefore, for the time being at least, it looks like RFID will dominate this sector.
According to a new market data forecasts from ABI Research, it will take more than 5 years for 5G to reach 100 million subscriber mark—2 years longer than 4G. 4G subscriber growth was much faster than with previous generations, fueled by the capabilities of increasingly powerful smartphones and the availability of 4G devices. 5G subscriber growth will likely be a bit more muted at first due to the increased complexity of 5G cells and networks, but will pick up in 2023.
Mandated by the European Commission and supported by the dynamic railway industry in the region, the GSM-R system has established a significant market in Europe. Over the past few years the market extended to regions outside Europe including Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Led by Nokia, Kapsch CarrierCom and Huawei, GSM-R track coverage is growing to 190,000 km by 2020.
ABI Research estimates that 676 million 4G LTE handsets will be shipped in 2015, growing 204 million units from 2014. Furthermore, ABI Research estimates that the total number of LTE connected devices shipped worldwide will exceed 1.89 billion units by end 2019, demonstrating the need for infrastructure and spectrum to support the stellar growth in the industry.
According to ABI Research, the pieces of the carrier Wi-Fi puzzle are falling into place as the standardization process speeds up with the recent updates on Hotspot 2.0 and commercial Next Generation Hotspot deployments counting more than 12 networks worldwide—implementing Cisco and Ruckus equipment.