Download the authoritative guide: Cloud Computing 2018: Using the Cloud to Transform Your Business
Huawei predicts that in less than a decade, billions of devices will light up the Internet of Things (IoT) and it will have a transformative effect on both the economy and everyday life.
According to the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker's 2016 Global Connectivity Index, data from 100 connected devices will pour into the world's networks and the IoT by 2025. Such widespread adoption will not only "drive millions of new apps and solutions," but also bring the world closer to a sci-fi inspired future.
"IoT will evolve towards task-based technologies like driverless vehicles, robot-controlled factories, and self-managing buildings," stated the report. "These will stimulate a revolutionary transformation in business processes and lifestyles."
In 2016, Huawei expects worldwide IoT investments to rise 14.3 percent to $800 billion from $700 billion last year. By comparison, telecom investments are expected to grow 1.3 percent to $1.54 trillion this year. The data center market will experience a 1.9 percent gain for a total of $110 billion.
This vision of the near future will be made possible, in part, by a global push to expand access to broadband and improve speeds. Huawei's study found that national average connectivity levels jumped 5 percent compared to 2015.
Ranking first in Global Connectivity Index with a score of 74, the United States has one of the most extensive LTE networks in the world, noted Huawei. Meanwhile, American telecom providers are beginning to lay the groundwork for IoT-friendly 5G networks.
Other high-ranking countries include Singapore (72), Sweden (70), Switzerland (68) and the United Kingdom (65).
Nations have good reason to want to climb up the rankings. A one-point increase can drive up productivity by 2.3 percent, innovation by 2.2 percent and competitiveness by 2.1 percent, as well as boost a country's per-capita gross domestic product (GDP), claimed Huawei.
"Nations that are in the early stages of economic digitization should develop long-term technology plans that include broadband and data centers to reap the benefits of enhanced growth," said Kevin Zhang, president of Huawei Corporate Marketing, in a statement. "Developed economies wanting to capitalize on their frontrunner ICT [information and communications technology] status should invest more in cloud, big data, and IoT technologies and solutions to experience the full benefits of a digital economy."
Huawei evaluated a total of 50 countries, which account for 90 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP) and represent 78 percent of the population. In addition to broadband coverage, the index takes into account data centers, cloud, big data and IoT, among several other factors.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.