Next-Gen Asset Tracking Infrastructure worth $4.5 Billion by 2022 but Consolidation is Looming


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A new report by ABI Research forecasts that the worldwide indoor positioning market for next-generation asset tracking will reach $4.5 billion by 2022 with a CAGR of 32%, as large enterprises seek to deploy next-generation asset tracking technologies to improve operational efficiencies. As the hugely fragmented market develops, the location supply chain will become very complex with the boundaries between the different nodes blurring. In this report, ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies, identifies which technologies can be used to enable cost reduction and reduce asset loss across a range of vertical markets.

Next-generation asset tracking solutions based on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Ultra-wideband (UWB) will rapidly replace expensive legacy systems such as passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) while providing increased location granularity. “Although Bluetooth is quickly becoming the go-to standard for indoor asset tracking use cases, the choice of Real-Time Location System (RTLS) technology is dependent on many factors including the number of assets being tracked, the coverage area required, the level of accuracy required for each use case, and the overall cost of the solution including both infrastructure and implementation costs,” says Samuel McLaughlin, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “Many smaller companies simply cannot afford the costs associated with RFID systems. A ruggedized BLE tag will cost $20 today, which may seem expensive, but this is offset by reduced anchor point costs per square meter.”

ABI Research forecasts that Bluetooth hardware infrastructure for asset tracking will reach $2.3 billion by 2022, which will represent 52% of the total infrastructure of asset tracking market. However, UWB is the fastest growing technology in this environment with a compound annual growth rate of 52% between 2017 and 2022.

Major beacon companies arrived late to target the asset tracking space because they were focusing on consumer-facing applications. This has given rise to customized solutions from companies like Fathom, Quuppa, Onyx Beacon, Bluvision, H&D Wireless and PLUS Location Systems. This market is characterized by many small-to-medium sized suppliers that are steadily obtaining deployments with local customers.

However, these vendors will struggle to generate scale in the long term. Targeting small to mid-size businesses across a variety of segments and use cases is a good starting point for these companies, but it will not be enough for them to survive in such a highly competitive landscape. Asset tracking customers often have specific requirements and ask for highly customizable equipment, which most vendors could hardly cope with in the long-run.

This trend means market consolidation is looming and survivors will be pushed to come up with more hybridized technologies that will allow them to generate the required scale. These players will also have to adapt their business models and align their strategy if they want to maximize profits from their innovative technologies. “Asset tracking as a service is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to the traditional model whereby vendors ship their solutions as a one-time sale opportunity,” concludes McLaughlin.    

These findings are from ABI Research’s Indoor Positioning & RTLS: Technology Infrastructure, Applications, and Revenues report. This report is part of the company’s Location Technologies research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.

About ABI Research

ABI Research provides strategic guidance for visionaries needing market foresight on the most compelling transformative technologies, which reshape workforces, identify holes in a market, create new business models and drive new revenue streams. ABI’s own research visionaries take stances early on those technologies, publishing groundbreaking studies often years ahead of other technology advisory firms. ABI analysts deliver their conclusions and recommendations in easily and quickly absorbed formats to ensure proper context. Our analysts strategically guide visionaries to take action now and inspire their business to realize a bigger picture.

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