Despite 2023 Decline, Cat-1bis and RedCap are Bright Spots for IoT Cellular Module Market

NEW YORK, July 13, 2024 — Inventory stacking, a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, drove cellular module growth in 2021 and even into 2022. However, in 2023 it was a major headwind, driving a shipment decline of over 5% relative to 2022. What has buoyed the spirits of the cellular module market has been the growth of Cat-1bis. According to a new report from global technology intelligence firm ABI Research cellular module forecasts show that Cat-1bis will replace nearly 70% of the Cat-1 market by 2029.


For years, many Cat-1 IoT devices were designed using only a single antenna which sometimes required carrier approval for use on their networks. LTE networks are ubiquitous with good coverage hence a single antenna was sufficient. But what device OEMs and chipset vendors realized is that Cat-1 module costs can be reduced even more by building a dedicated Cat-1bis chipset with send and receive functions delivered over a single antenna. Not only could power consumption be lowered but also component costs. The Cat-1bis standard in 3GPP Release 13 formalizes the common, yet informal use of single antenna Cat-1 devices. The original Cat 1 specification in 3GPP Release 8 required two antennas.

Commenting on the new data, Dan Shey, Vice President, Enabling Platforms at ABI Research, says, “Like many new developments in the cellular IoT market, China is leading with deployment of Cat-1bis. Outside of China, Cat-1bis penetration is much lower since it is typically the replacement technology for new device designs. Regardless of region, based on the benefits of Cat-1bis relative to other cellular technologies, we see Cat-1bis becoming the number two technology choice for cellular IoT applications by 2029.”

Cat-1bis benefits include lower cost – outside of China Cat-1bis modules are at least 30% cheaper with even greater reductions seen in China. Network roaming is also a benefit as 4G roaming agreements are well established unlike the challenges seen today with NB-IoT and Cat-M. Finally, the Cat-1bis standard formalizes the use of a single antenna. The only question which will vary by use case and application is connection reliability for stationary applications. For battery-powered IoT applications, fixed placement of a Cat-1bis device where cellular network coverage is poor could shorten battery life as single antenna devices struggle to connect to the cellular network.

But there is also another view of Cat-1bis in the market. According to Shey, “Presently it is unclear if the chipset vendors will invest in new Cat-1bis chipsets. At Mobile World Congress, and more recently at Asia Tech Expo, RedCap was being pushed not only by module suppliers, but also the device OEMs and the chipset community. 5G RedCap is creating an opening to drive 5G device volumes in the IoT domain. The calculus by the 5G supplier community is 5G capabilities – low latency, location granularity, and future proofing against LTE sunsets, will convince more customers to invest in these higher revenue products.”

Pune’s Real Estate Boom – Is Now the Perfect Time to Invest?

akash pharande

By-Akash Pharande, Managing Director – Pharande Spaces

Pune, one of India’s most vibrant real estate markets, has experienced rapid changes over the past few years. Latest data from leading real estate consultancies show a scenario of strong housing price increases and ongoing changes in market dynamics, pointing towards further price hikes in the future.

According to real estate consultants Anarock, Pune and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) saw over 50% of the overall housing sales in Q2 2024 among the top seven cities. This is a resounding statement for Pune — a city once considered the laid-back cousin of the financial capital and is now competing in the same league.

Rising Property Prices: A Continuum

Recent data from various leading consultancies clearly show Pune’s trend of rising property prices. There has been a significant 20-23% year-on-year increase compared to Q1 2023. This resilience and rising demand are driving prices higher. Several factors explain Pune’s growing housing prices

– Economic Growth & Employment Opportunities: Pune’s real estate market has improved significantly due to its development into a major IT and manufacturing center. High demand from professionals seeking homes near their workplaces has led to a surge in property values in and around IT parks and manufacturing hubs.

– Infrastructure Development: Ongoing and planned infrastructure improvements such as road extensions, new flyovers, and the Pune Metro are boosting the city’s property values and connectivity. This dynamic is evident across Greater Pune, which includes the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the infrastructure-driven Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC).

– Shift in Housing Segments: Pune’s housing market is now driven by mid-range and premium-to-luxury housing, thanks to higher demand for such options. The higher purchasing and borrowing power of the target clientele supports ongoing price increases.

pune real estate

So – Buy Now or Later?

To answer this very important question, it is necessary to consider some fundamentals. Pune’s strong economic growth draws professionals and families from various industries. The city offers a high livability quotient, better housing affordability, and a superior climate compared to neighboring Mumbai. It also boasts top-grade healthcare and education options and proximity to Mumbai, Maharashtra’s main economic hub.

Pune has delivered an overall residential price appreciation of well over 20% in just one year. Naturally, both end-users and investors find the city very appealing, especially considering its rapid growth since 2020, which saw Pune’s lowest year for housing demand in the last decade due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Job losses, economic disruption, and the disappearance of construction labour brought building activity to a halt. The lockdowns caused a significant decline in real estate market demand and supply.

But in 2021, the market began to bounce back powerfully. With a 17% year-on-year increase, Pune saw the highest property sales since 2013. Buyer confidence increased steadily. In 2023, the Pune housing market rebounded remarkably. The current year is poised to set new benchmarks.

The writing is clearly on the wall — there is no stopping the Pune housing market, and a wait-and-watch stance can cost buyers dearly. For those who want to buy a home in Pune, either to live here or to reap investment returns, there is a strong argument for acting now. Historical data and current patterns clearly imply that the city’s property values will keep rising.

Given the continuous growth of the city and its expanding economic base, homes bought now will deliver significant value addition over time. Pune is currently second only to Mumbai in new residential launches and sales and is also attracting increasing interest from institutional investors eyeing its commercial real estate market.

This means more workplaces, more jobs, and even higher housing demand driving prices steadily northward. For potential buyers and investors, the message is clear – there is no equity in waiting for a more opportune time in Pune’s thriving housing market.

About the Author:

Akash Pharande is Managing Director – Pharande Spaces, a leading real estate construction and development firm famous for its township projects in Greater Pune and beyond. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer of townships in the region. With the recent inclusion of Puneville Commercial into one of its most iconic townships, Pharande Spaces taken a major step towards addressing Pune’s current and future requirements for fully integrated residential-commercial convenience