The Global Certification Forum (GCF) published its Mobile Device Trends February 2023 report, which includes an analysis of wireless device certification data for 2022. The report highlights the significant increase in the number of wireless modules being certified, which now account for almost the same share as smartphones. The rise of 5G continues, with 33 percent of all devices and 49 percent of all smartphones in 2022 integrating the technology, and support for 5G standalone (SA) operation reaching over 90 percent of 5G devices.

By combining conformance and interoperability tests undertaken in laboratories with field trials on multiple commercial networks, GCF certification verifies the quality of the interoperability of mobile phones and other wireless devices with different network elements, vendors’ infrastructure and other services. GCF certifies hundreds of different device models each year and the analysis of GCF’s certification listings provides insight into current trends within the mobile device market.

A total of 649 device models from 85 manufacturers were certified by GCF in 2022. This represents a 6 percent increase in models compared with 2021 and the second highest figure in GCF’s history.

Smartphones remained the largest category of device in 2022 with 37 percent share (down from 43 percent in 2021) but modules, previously in second place at nearly 30 percent in 2021, have almost bridged the gap, moving to a share of 36.7 percent in 2022. Wireless routers retained their position as the third largest category some distance behind.

2022 saw a decrease in the number of devices certified incorporating a low-power wide area (LPWA) IoT standard. As in the two previous years, two standards dominated these certifications: NB-IoT and LTE CAT M1 (FDD), which were incorporated in 53 devices each.

GCF’s Mobile Device Trends report contains detailed figures and analysis on a wide range of emerging and legacy technologies including 5G, LTE, cellular IoT, eSIM, oneM2M, LTE, 3G and GSM. The report also looks at some likely trends into 2023.