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Micro-mobility could be €12 billion IoT opportunity by 2027

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Ericsson report says this is one of tomorrow's smart city niches for the comms service provider

Ericsson’s latest study of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities has identified an opportunity for mobile operators now worth $3.5 billion with a 16% compound annual growth rate.

The Connected Micromobility report predicts that by 2027, this niche of the IoT/Smart Cities sector could constitute a $12 billion global market.

Unless these self-service, shared, lightweight electric bikes and e-scooters are affected by the threats of legislation outlined in the report, this could create a lucrative service market for mobile operators.

Micro-mobility runs on IoT

The study, conducted in collaboration between Ericsson, Arthur D. Little, mobile operator Arkessa and micro-mobility operator Voi, outlines how micro-mobility companies will need cellular IoT to address safety challenges and optimize operations.

If cellular IoT is used skilfully micro-mobility operators can extend the life span of their fleet, accurately implement dynamic pricing with asset tracking and run cost-efficient service diagnostics and logistics, says Ericsson. 

An e-scooter operator in a city with 1 million inhabitants and a fleet of 3500 e-scooters could make around €400,000 a year – as long as asset management is tight. That is dependent on good security, location-aware connected units and the enforcement of safety zones with low speeds and a high recovery rate of abandoned scooters. Profit protection is encumbent on the communications services provided, says the report.

Great emissions story for CSPs

According to International Transport Forum, there are sustainability benefits from micro-mobility that can be claimed by the mobile operators who run provide the connectivity.

Replacing car rides with electric scooters cuts CO2 emissions by up to 61%, it can be claimed. In addition, increasing the life span of electric scooters can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 33%, and reducing congestion in cities can reduce CO2 emissions by a further 6%, according to the Micromobility Value Calculator.

“Cellular IoT is not only a stepping stone for micro-mobility companies to improve and optimize their offerings,” said Kyle Okamoto, Ericsson’s IoT general manager, “it helps micro-mobility providers interact more with smart city infrastructure and this is exciting.”