IoT has been radically changing consumer and business landscape over the last few decades. The diverse set of connected devices from a range of verticals needs a unique communication infrastructure. Besides, these connected devices require low power, faster connectivity, and higher security. With the advent of technologies, enterprises have adopted digital transformation to get an edge over their competitors. As a result, new application areas are emerging across a range of verticals, such as industrial automation, smart factories, Machine to Machine (M2M) process control, discrete and process manufacturing, smart grid, smart meters, smart energy, smart lighting, remote patient monitoring, hospital asset tracking, remote diagnosis, remote surgery, warehouse logistics, fleet management, asset tracking, autonomous driving, smart cities, public safety, parking management, video surveillance, smart building, smart retail, environmental monitoring, water management, and crop management. The global 5G IoT market is in the nascent phase and expected to grow from USD 694 million in 2020 to USD 6,285.5 million by 2025, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 55.4% during the forecast period.

MarketsandMarket 5G IoT
Source: MarketsandMarkets Analysis

The next-generation application areas, such as tactical communication, Industrial IoT (IIoT), connected cars, connected healthcare, driverless cars, edge computing, and smart cities, are prime use cases that require higher bandwidth and low latency enabled by 5G, a new standard set by 3rd Generation (3G) Partnership Project (3GPP). 5G is not a replacement for 4th Generation (4G) or 3G technologies, but an augmented version of 4G to deliver faster communication services. It caters to consumers and businesses in terms of data connectivity and would lead the next-generation communication technology market space. With higher flexibility, greater speed, and enhanced security, 5G is equipped for all the emerging IoT use cases, which require low latency and high power. 5G network is in the embryonic stage and expected to be commercially available by 2020 across most of the developing and developed countries.

High Performances and Low Complexities to Drive Adoption of 5G New Radio Standalone Architecture

5G New Radio (NR) Standalone

5G New Radio (NR) Non-standalone

  • 5G NR standalone architecture is a completely new radio network for the 5G network. It mainly comprises 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) and 5G core networks.
  • 5G NR standalone solutions are expected to be more effective than 5G NR non-standalone solutions.
  • The 5G NR standalone solutions would have various new built-in capabilities.
  • These new built-in capabilities include network slicing, ultra-low latency, Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS), multi-Gbps support, and virtualization. In June 2018, 3GPP approved specifications for 5G NR standalone architecture. This announcement has accelerated the deployment of 5G network services on the standalone architecture.
  • 5G NR non-standalone solutions use existing Long-Term Evolution (LTE) RAN and core networks. They enable carriers to provide services within a small timeframe and at a low cost.
  • In the early stages of 5G implementation, these solutions would help boost IoT connectivity; however, after 2021, 5G NR standalone solutions are expected to overtake in terms of market size.
  • The 5G NR non-standalone architecture offers a faster route to market by leveraging the existing LTE network.
  • Currently, most of the operators are introducing 5G network services via a non-standalone architecture.
  • 5G NR standalone architecture requires a higher cost as compared to non-standalone architecture.

5G promises to deliver faster speed for IoT devices at a lower cost. As compared to the traditional cellular IoT technique, the 5G network is set to change mobile telephony by connecting IoT devices drastically. The 5G network would have a dramatic impact on the IoT connectivity network. Currently, Communication Service Providers (CSPs) are delivering IoT connectivity via Cat-M1 and NB-IoT. These technologies enable CSPs to cater to a wide range of application areas across manufacturing, energy and utilities, transportation and logistics, smart city, and healthcare industries. With the growth in application areas, connected IoT devices are expected to burgeon across industries. CSPs are striving to provide improved network coverage for widening the IoT ecosystem.

Emerging New Use Cases to Drive Growth of IoT Connections


Use Cases


  • Process automation
  • Smart factory
  • Production automation
  • Wearable communications
  • Wireless industrial control
  • Remote monitoring
  • Factory control
  • Intelligent supply

Media and Entertainment

  • Smart home monitoring
  • Wearable communications
  • Immersive experiences
  • Gaming
  • Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR)


  • Smart city
  • Urban and infrastructure security
  • Video surveillance
  • Public safety
  • House fire
  • Intelligent transport and traffic management
  • Solid waste management


  • Home bio connectivity
  • Patient applications
  • Hospital applications
  • Medical data management
  • Remote robotics surgery
  • Automated medication
  • Medical emergency


  • Smart grid
  • Smart energy management
  • Smart meters
  • Remote monitoring of energy sites
  • Smart power generation
  • Green energy
  • Energy distribution
  • Energy automation


  • Precision farming
  • Smart irrigation and climate
  • Soil and crop monitoring
  • Greenhouse automation
  • Livestock monitoring
  • Crop management
  • End-to-end farm management
  • Agricultural drones


  • Connected cars
  • Vehicle sensing
  • Virtual Assistants
  • Real-time data analytics
  • OTA software
  • HD maps
  • Monitoring systems
  • Autonomous Vehicles


  • In-store analytics
  • Interactive fitting rooms
  • Handheld devices
  • Heat mapping technology
  • Beacons

With substantial growth in connected cellular IoT devices, telecom operators are reigniting their business revenues from the 5G radio network. 5G would help enterprises reduce their operational costs, improve network resource utilization, and implement a wide range of new services, including IIoT, smart cities, smart farming, connected healthcare, and connected cars. Hence, the 5G IoT market is expected to offer massive opportunities to CSPs during the upcoming years to gain a competitive advantage.