IoT and Essential Utility Services: Opportunities in low- and middle-income countries
IoT connections across Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia are set to double by 2030. A major trend defining the next decade is that enterprise IoT will overtake consumer IoT in terms of number of connections. The utilities sectors will account for a major proportion of this growth. For example, in Sub-Saharan Africa, smart utility IoT connections will increase almost six-fold between 2021 and 2030, with total IoT connections in the utilities sectors (cellular and non-cellular) reaching 152 million. By 2030, utility solutions will account for nearly 30% of IoT connections in the region, and similar trends can also be seen in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in South and Southeast Asia.
The strong growth forecast in the utilities sectors reflects the scale of the opportunities IoT holds for improving services. IoT is pivotal to digital solutions that tackle water shortages, lack of sanitation, unreliable power, and insufficient waste management, often working in tandem with digital payments, big data analytics and AI.
This report reviews the extent to which 17 key utilities-focused use cases have been deployed across five markets. It assesses the state and maturity of deployments in India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, and Nigeria. By drawing together the findings across these market cases studies, it also identifies trends that are relevant across LMIC market contexts. These five market case studies are summarised in the report, but longer and more detailed versions of these can be accessed through the links below.
This report is a companion to the recently published GSMA report, ‘IoT for Development: Use cases delivering impact‘. That report provides a more detailed discussion of the solution architecture for IoT, provides data on the connectivity options in 62 markets in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia and discusses a broader range of use cases across sectors.