In 10 years there will be 50 billion devices connected to the web, declared Ericsson’s President and CEO Hans Vestberg yesterday. Compare that with Intel’s estimates that by 2015 the world will have 15 billion connected devices up from 5 billion now.

In 10 years there will be 50 billion devices connected to the web, declared Ericsson President and CEO Hans Vestberg yesterday. That differs from Intel’s estimates that by 2015 the world will have 15 billion connected devices up from 5 billion now. However, the point is the same — mobile broadband and cheap chips equal a connected network of gadgets.

Vestberg highlighted the benefits of connected health-care devices, which we’ve also featured. The smart grid (GigaOM Pro sub req’d) and the potential for connected appliances also will bring more devices online, in addition to the already proliferating connected consumer electronics devices like televisions, cameras and game consoles. Already, the carriers are salivating at the prospect of providing cellular connections to these products and have set up divisions dedicated to machine-to-machine connectivity, but Wi-Fi is also a contender as the wireless backhaul to the web.

Large-scale projects such as Hewlett-Packard’s CeNSE network will also drive the number of connected devices, as will tracking modules for managing a company’s inventory or supply chain. So for those eyeing Ericsson’s connected future with skepticism, know that the technology already exists in the form of wireless broadband options, while more chips to provide the brains combined with radios will start hitting the markets in the next few years. We’re just waiting on the business models and deployments.

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  1. The headline is off by 10 years.

    1. Yeah, big time fail. I wondered where the hell that number came from.

  2. It is hard to envision the types of services driving this level of device growth – home appliances? automobiles? One thing is for certain – service providers need to start thinking NOW about how they are going to support this array of services flowing to a myriad of devices. This prediction and the prediction from Intel both suggest that the rate of innovation and change is only going to accelerate. What will the next big trend driving this connected device growth be?

  3. Ahhh, don’t you mean by 2020?

  4. This highlights the need for IPv6, especially on mobile devices. Today’s IPv4 only has 4 billion addresses …

  5. It’s ok for him to predict,it is just a prediction,it may or may not come true.

  6. I think it is not way off. world has 4 billion mobile subscriptions. While 3G penetration is still very low. With increasing 3G penetration (and 4G) and falling chip prices. This is a distinct reality. And in this theory Ericsson talks about 50 B connected devices, I would imagine local Wifi might consolidate a lot of them.

  7. The State of the Internet: Now Bigger, Faster & Mobile Sunday, April 18, 2010

    [...] The rapid growth in the number of unique IP addresses is going to decline mostly because of the law of large numbers. In addition, many service providers, including mobile carriers, are using network address translation (NAT) and proxy/gateway technology to cope with the exhaustion of the IPv4 address space. I will bet that as we start to see more and more “connected” devices, there will be a burst in the number of unique IP addresses. Ericsson recently forecasted 50 billion connected devices by 2020. [...]

  8. Will Carriers Be Big Players in the Internet of Things? Thursday, June 10, 2010

    [...] in comparison to the totality of connected gadgets as estimated by Intel (5 billion today) or Ericsson (50 billion by 2020) 2 billion by 2014 on cellular networks isn’t too crazy. In fact, in that light, it looks like [...]

  9. Internet Evolution – Joe Grimm – Getting Ahead of the Internet of Things Saturday, June 12, 2010

    [...] president and CEO Hans Vestberg has predicted that there will be 50 billion interconnected devices by [...]

  10. Mobile Connections: Over 5 Billion Served Thursday, July 8, 2010

    [...] connection numbers beyond 6 billion sooner rather than later. Indeed, Hans Vestberg, Ericcson’s CEO, expects 50 billion connected devices by 2020 — a number the carriers should pay attention to for strategic [...]

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