Vodafone has announced it is the first global Internet of Things (IoT) mobile provider to exceed 50 million connections.

The company also said it is adding around one million new connections a month.

Vodafone said its managed IoT technologies use the company’s own operating company networks, partner market networks and other third-party mobile network operators to “provide customers with simple, globally unified connectivity services”.

According to the company, IoT technologies are now beginning to reach “critical mass in the enterprise and are also a core focus of R&D for a wide range of consumer technology companies”.

The most recent Vodafone IoT Barometer report found that 24 per cent of businesses’ IT budgets are being allocated to IoT, and that 76 per cent of businesses say that IoT will be critical for the future success of any organisation in their sector.

It also found that 48 per cent of IoT adopters say they’re using it to support large-scale business transformation, while 86 per cent of businesses in the industrial sector say they have seen “significant” return from implementing IoT.

Vodafone said it has experienced “double-digit annual growth” in its IoT revenue since it first established a dedicated business unit focused on machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies in 2011.

The company has since been recognised by Gartner as a ‘Leader’ in its Magic Quadrant for Managed M2M Services, Worldwide 2016 and has been named ‘the consistent global leader’ in IoT services by Machina Research in its 2016 IoT Communications Service Provider Benchmarking report.

Vodafone director of IoT Ivo Rook said: “Vodafone was one of the earliest believers in the potential for the Internet of Things to transform business and life. The 50 million milestone is a testament to our continued focus and commitment to innovation in this rapidly growing and dynamic sector.”

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