The operator has the most the most IoT connections at 80.9 million: its latest IoT Barometer surveyed 1,758 businesses worldwide.
The Barometer found that more than a third use IoT, and 70% of them are beyond the pilot stage. Almost all respondents, 95%, have seen tangible benefits from their IoT investment.
Respondents work in sectors ranging from medical exoskeletons to connected tyres, but the common factor was the benefits almost all had gained, regardless of sector or size of company, according to Vodafone.
Further, 60% of firms that use IoT said it has already disrupted their industry or will do within five years.
The majority, 84%, reported growing confidence in IoT, with almost as many, 83%, increasing the scale of their implementations to achieve greater advantages.
The report assessed the strategy, integration and implementation of IoT deployments and defined five levels of implementation.
Based on this assessment of respondents, it found:
• 53% of adopters fell into the top two levels
• the Americas are the most advanced, with 67% of adopters falling into the top two levels,
• 51% were assessed as being in the top two layers in APAC and 46% in Europe.
More spend, more gain
The most advanced companies also saw the greatest return on investment in IoT, with 87% of those assessed as being in the top level saying their returns were “significant” whereas only 17% of those at the beginners’ level reported such gains.
The research also found the greater the gains, the greater the reliance on IoT becomes, with 76% of adopters saying IoT is mission-critical to their businesses and 8% said their “entire business depends on IoT”.
Stefano Gastaut, CEO IoT, Vodafone Business, commented,"The good news is that IoT platforms make the technology easier to deploy for businesses of all sizes, while NB-IoT and 5G will only improve services and potential.
"In this climate, companies need to be considering not if but how they will implement IoT, and they must also be fully committed to the technology to realise the strongest benefit."
Over half (52%) the respondents said they intended to use 5G, which promises to support more data, greater reliability and very low latency. Vodafone stated, "Combined with mobile edge computing, which will process application traffic closer to the network edge, users can expect better performance, less risk and faster data speeds."