Huawei, Vodafone top IHS survey of IoT platform vendors

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China has seen "massive cellular IoT growth," IHS said.

Huawei and Vodafone are the world’s most promising IoT connectivity management platform (CMP) vendors, according to a new study from IHS Markit. And U.S. operators such as AT&T and Verizon are nowhere to be seen among the top 10.

The market research firm outlined a recent study it conducted analyzing CMP vendors “leading in that market and those best positioned to succeed long-term.” IHS considered factors including “cumulative cellular IoT connections under management,” support for multiple connectivity technologies, diversity of deployment models and perceptions of vendors by a multicountry panel of enterprise users.

Huawei took top honors on IHS’ scorecard, followed by Vodafone, Cisco Jasper, Ericsson and HPE. Rounding out the top 10 in order were Aeris, Comarch, KORE, Stream Technologies and ZTE.

“Huawei’s cumulative cellular IoT connection count exploded in 2016 on the back of its work with Chinese operators,” said Sam Lucero, IHS’s senior principal analyst for M2M and IoT, in a release. “Vodafone has quietly established a global footprint of operator partners that not only use its platform, but often its global network and global IoT SIM as well.”

Indeed, the CMP market has shifted significantly in the last 18 months, IHS said, “spurred by massive cellular IoT growth in China, a perception that additional costs remain to be driven out of CMP deployment, and increasing integration of CMPs with application-enablement platforms (AEPs),” which is a related IoT platform segment.

That shift has seen increased competition in a space recently dominated by Cisco Jasper and Ericsson. And explosive growth in the Chinese market is likely one reason why no U.S. operator merited a spot in IHS’ top 10.

AT&T has long been a leading U.S. carrier in the IoT market, of course, and in May it launched a nationwide LTE-M network for the IoT. Verizon, meanwhile, has moved aggressively into the telematics segment.

“HPE introduced an innovative AEP in its Universal IoT Platform and, late in 2016, extended this with a CMP component,” Lucero added. “Likewise, ZTE benefited from exceptional underlying Chinese market growth in addition to opening up new emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa.”