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Ericsson CEO Predicts 50 Billion Internet Connected Devices by 2020

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In 10 years there will be 50 billion devices connected to the web, declared Ericsson (s eric) President and CEO Hans Vestberg yesterday. That differs from Intel’s (s intc) 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 (s hpq) 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.

16 Responses to “Ericsson CEO Predicts 50 Billion Internet Connected Devices by 2020”

  1. iamanshul

    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.

  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?