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Deloitte’s 2020 TMT Predictions forecasts greater accessibility to AI via new chips at the edge

Deloitte predicts more than 750 million edge artificial intelligence (AI) chips will be sold, with the new generation of technology bringing AI directly to the device

Toronto, December 12, 2019 – In the 19th edition of its Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions, Deloitte projects more than 750 million edge artificial intelligence (AI) chips will be sold in 2020, more than double the number sold in 2017, and represent US$2.6 billion in revenue. The new generation of edge AI chips is set to bring AI capabilities directly to the device—be it a smartphone, robot, or sensor—adding the capacity to perform or accelerate machine-learning tasks without the need for internet connection.

“We expect edge AI chips to keep growing about twice as fast as the overall chip industry for at least the next few years,” said Duncan Stewart, director of research for TMT at Deloitte Canada. “We predict sales will reach at least 1.5 billion units by 2024; it could even be much higher.”

Private 5G networks: Changing the game for enterprise
Deloitte predicts more than 100 companies worldwide will begin testing private 5G deployments by the end of 2020. It is early days for the technology and spending will only be a few hundred million dollars, but by 2024, the value of cellular mobile equipment and services for use in private networks will add up to tens of billions of (US) dollars annually.

With the likelihood of hundreds of thousands of companies deploying private 5G cellular networks over the next decade, and the introduction of capabilities that will be crucial in industrial settings—such as manufacturing plants, logistics centres, and ports—this technology could reshape the way companies do business.

“Private 5G networks could be the most disruptive mobile technology yet, offering unprecedented opportunities for companies worldwide to grow and achieve new levels of productivity,” said Anders McKenzie, managing partner for TMT at Deloitte Canada. “Just like private wireline networks in the past, private 5G is likely to be more secure, cheaper, and offer new features. As a result, history will likely view 5G not just as a technological marvel, but as a game changer for how the industry does business.”

Antenna TV: Terrestrial TV’s surprising staying power
Antenna TV will thrive in 2020, with Deloitte forecasting at least 1.6 billion people worldwide—about 450 million households—will watch at least some of their TV via antenna. Eight per cent of Canadians will watch at least some of their TV over the air as well—which is widely available, convenient, and free in urban areas—though they’ll frequently complement it with streamed video-on-demand services like Netflix. 

In fact, antenna TV will help the TV ad business to keep growing even while TV viewing minutes are expected to decrease by 5 per cent in 2020 in the United States, with similar trends in Canada and other countries. That’s because advertising in TV isn’t declining the way it is in some other traditional media. Deloitte projects global TV ad revenues will grow in dollar terms—but not share in the total ad market—by more than US$4 billion in 2020, reaching US$185 billion in 2021.

Deloitte’s annual TMT Predictions provides an outlook on key trends in the technology, media, and telecommunications industry sectors worldwide. They're based on global research, including in-depth interviews with clients, industry analysts, global industry leaders, and Deloitte member-firm TMT practitioners. Over the last five years, Deloitte has averaged more than 80 per cent accuracy with its TMT predictions.

The other most significant TMT predictions for 2020 are:

  • High speed from low orbit: Connecting everyone to the world? – Deloitte predicts that by the end of 2020, there will be more than 700 satellites in low-Earth orbit seeking to offer global broadband internet, up from roughly 200 at the end of 2019. While satellite broadband providers may be racing for the new revenue opportunities, it’s the hundreds of millions of people in unserved or underserved areas who may profit the most.
  • Excuse me, is that an ad in your video service? – Deloitte predicts that revenue from ad-supported video services (AVOD) will reach an estimated US$32 billion in 2020. In North America, most direct-to-consumer video offerings thus far have pursued the ad-free subscription model, but AVOD is predicted to grow faster here than any other region, up nearly 60 percent from 2018 levels to just under $10 billion.
  • Tour de Tech: Innovations promote pedal power – Deloitte predicts that tens of billions more bicycle commuting trips a year will take place in 2022 than in 2019, a one-percentage point rise in the proportion of people who bike to work. While only one per cent of the total workforce in Canada of about 16 million1 commutes by bike , technology (especially eBikes) may entice more Canadians to pedal.
  • Accessorize this: Smartphone extras will be huge Deloitte predicts that apps, games, accessories, and ancillary devices for smartphones will drive US$459 billion of revenue in 2020 alone, a 15 per cent (US$58 billion) increase over 2019. Wired earphones, phone cases, screen protectors, and memory cards are the hottest items in Canada. Who’s buying more? The 18-to 24-year-olds, who own eight smartphone accessories on average.
  • The professional services robots are coming—to everywhere – Deloitte predicts that of the almost one million robots expected to be sold for enterprise use in 2020, just over half will be professional service units (versatile, cart-like robots), which will likely surpass industrial robots (the kind with arms) in revenue by 2022. At 172, the density of robots in the manufacturing industry in Canada in 2018 was above the world average of 99 robots per 10,000 employees. 
  • The ears have it: The rise of audiobooks and podcasting – Deloitte predicts the global audiobook market will grow in 2020 by 25 per cent, to US$3.5billion. The global podcasting market is also expected to increase by 30 per cent to reach US$1.1 billion in 2020. Eighteen per cent of Canadians say they listen to podcasts, with 60 percent saying they listen weekly or more.
  • Delivery networks toil to meet insatiable appetite for video – Deloitte predicts that the global content delivery network market will reach US$14 billion in 2020, up more than 25 per cent from 2019’s estimated US$11 billion. It’s also predicted that the market will more than double—to US$30 billion—by 2025.

Deloitte’s Canadian TMT Predictions road show kicks off on January 14 in Toronto, followed by stops in Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver, Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, and other Canadian cities.

1 Statistics Canada, 2016 census, metropolitan area

About Deloitte

Deloitte provides audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax, and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Deloitte serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies through a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories bringing world-class capabilities, insights, and service to address clients’ most complex business challenges. Deloitte LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity.  Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

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