The global real-time location system market size was USD 6,285 million in 2021 and is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 68,515 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 30.4% during the forecast period (2022 – 2030). A real-time location system (RTLS) is a precise positioning system that enables the user to identify, track, and provide information about various objects, such as equipment, tools, assets, containers, people, and more, through automatic feedback. Usually, RTLS can find and follow people or items inside or outside a limited area. Fixed reference points receive wireless signals from the attached wireless RTLS tags and determine the object's location. For example, RTLS follows vehicles as they move along a production line. It includes network infrastructure, battery-powered tags, sensors, application software, and location readers.
Real-time tracking in various corporate processes not only increases accuracy and productivity but also has other advantages, including improved employee safety and security, efficient logistical and supply chain operations, and efficient process operation. The major factors driving the growth of the real-time location system market are an increase in the demand for asset tracking, the prevalence of smartphones, an increase in the adoption of business analytics solutions, and a surge in awareness about the advantages of real-time location systems.
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Rise in Need for Asset Tracking
To track assets asset tracking has become more widespread across various industrial verticals, including healthcare, defense, and manufacturing. These resources include equipment for use in medicine, trailers, and containers. Additionally, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reports that global military spending grew to $1,822 billion in 2018—a 2.6% rise from 2017. United States, China, Saudi Arabia, India, and France were the top five military spenders in 2018, accounting for 60% of all military spending worldwide. As a result, rising military spending is also projected to help the real-time location system market grow even more.
Diverse Utility Across Applications
The RTLS market is driven by the diversified scope of its applications across various sectors. RTLS is well suited in healthcare, retail, supply chain management, military, manufacturing & processing, and education sectors. Regarding security, RTLS has a significant and emerging place in the market. It is also used across the oil & gas industry for energy and resource management agencies. In addition, the education, insurance, and tourism sectors offer a broad scope of applications for RTLS. Further, location accuracy across various verticals also drives the demand for RTLS.
The real-time operating system does not function in adverse weather conditions, such as fog, cloud cover, snow, and rough terrain. In addition, the awareness regarding the benefits of these solutions among potential users is low in the market. Therefore, these factors are expected to affect the market growth during the forecast period due to the demand for fast navigation technology and high accuracy. Moreover, several companies intend to increase awareness among potential users, such as car manufacturers and smart appliances. For instance, earlier, cars, aircraft, and mobile instruments were not equipped with RTLS; however, its adoption has increased due to the need for precise results in a shorter period.
Increased adoption of cloud computing, wireless technologies, advanced motion & temperature sensors, high-precision cameras, and others is expected to supplement the market growth. High demand for information services is expected to boost the market's growth. In addition, growing developments and adoption in IoT are again expected to propel the demand for RTLS offerings.
The global real-time location system market is segmented by component, technology, industry vertical, and region.
By component, the global market is categorized into hardware, software, and service. In the global real-time location system components, the hardware segment was the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 29.3% during the forecast period. The abundant availability of affordable sensors, growth in awareness about the benefits of RTLS technology, increase in adoption of Wi-Fi across various end-user industries, and scaling of the deployment of existing RTLS across industries is expected to boost the growth of this segment.
The real-time location service segment is the second largest. The services segment is expected to witness the highest growth rate during the forecast period. These services reduce the time and costs associated with optimizing systems in the initial deployment phase. As services help deploy and integrate distinct IT solutions in an enterprise ecosystem, they are an essential part of an organization. Services play a vital role in the real-time location system market, as they focus on meeting client requirements, reducing costs, and enhancing software or hardware performance. There has been an increase in the adoption of services among end users over time, as it ensures the effective functioning of solutions and platforms throughout the process. Adopting RTLS hardware and platforms is expected to boost the demand for these services. There is a lot of scope for implementing real-time location systems in developing countries such as India due to increased awareness about customer satisfaction to boost the business in this region.
As per technology, the global market is divided into Ultra-Wideband (UWB), Wi-Fi, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), ZigBee, infrared, and other. The RFID segment was the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 29.4% during the forecast period. RFID is wireless electromagnetic fields that transfer data between two or more communication devices to locate people or objects. The technology uses RFID tags, information storage, and wireless analysis of the RFID reader that uses radio waves. RFID tags are categorized into active and passive tags. Passive tags have no battery source. Therefore, they measure short-range products, whereas active RFID tags include an internal battery and a transmitter. The active tags are widely used for RTLS and indoor positioning as they cover more comprehensive ranges.
The Wi-Fi segment is the second largest. RTLS is incorporated in various products, such as mobile phones and navigational systems. These systems include wireless nodes; usually, tags or badges emit signals. RTLS applications include inventory & asset tracking, fleet tracking, network security navigation, and personnel tracking. Furthermore, Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) also limits the physical areas wherein the users connect to restricted access. The need for increased utilization rates, avoidance of theft, lower inventory expenses, shortened equipment search times, and automated asset maintenance with real-time visibility into the location and status of high-value equipment are the major factors that contribute toward the growth of the RTLS Wi-Fi network.
Depending on the industry vertical, the global real-time location system is categorized into transportation & logistics, healthcare, retail, manufacturing & processing, and others. The real-time location system healthcare segment was the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 29.6% during the forecast period. From emergencies to preventive healthcare, RTLS plays a vital role in the healthcare industry, enabling consumers to track hospitals that provide emergency services. Customers can analyze the internal structure of the hospital and the expected time for the arrival of a doctor and locate the best pediatricians, emergency clinics, or even restaurants that cater to their health needs by using these systems. In addition, RTLS is used in hospitals for asset management. Radiofrequency identification (RFID) tags are attached to the hospital equipment, such as hospital beds, ventilators, oxygen cylinders, and others, to track their location on the hospital premises. Real-time patient flow and historical visibility help analyze the quality of service, availability of resources, and patient processing. The proliferation of RTLS technology is expected to enable patients to search nearby labs and hospitals conveniently, thereby driving market growth. Furthermore, these solutions may also help track and locate critical care equipment and personnel in emergencies. It can also eliminate the operational cost associated with asset management and equipment utilization.
The manufacturing & processing segment is the second largest. The primary factors influencing market expansion include the need for resource utilization and workflow optimization across various industries, increased market competition, increased technological advancements, and high returns on investment. With increased awareness of the benefits of autonomous asset tracking and management, these solutions are anticipated to become more prevalent in various industries, including manufacturing, consumer goods, and others, in the future.
The transportation & logistics segment is the third largest. The transportation & logistics segment possesses high growth potential and is the most lucrative sector in the market. Innovations such as autonomous cars using RTLS are expected to drive market growth. Automotive manufacturers have also started using these services to obtain high-resolution images required for self-driving cars. Hence, the continuous innovation of real-time location systems in logistics is anticipated to offer lucrative opportunities for the growth of these services.
By region, the global real-time location system market is analyzed across Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, and LAMEA.
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North America was the highest revenue contributor and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 28.6%. Businesses in North America have adopted real-time location systems to remain competitive in the market. Accessibility of RTLS solutions on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets fueling the growth of the real-time location system market in this region. The market is expanding in this region as a result of ongoing technological developments and the existence of numerous real-time location system vendors. In addition, the expansion of RTLS applications in North American healthcare, real estate, and hospitality sectors is crucial. During the projected period, the RTLS market is anticipated to rise due to increased military industry expenditure and telecommunications industry technological advancement.
Europe is the second largest region. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 18795 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 31%. The European real-time location system market is analyzed across the UK, Germany, France, Russia, and the rest of Europe. The healthy economic conditions have led the countries to adopt RTLS in various application areas. The market is propelled due to the increased utilization of satellite images by the archaeological and heritage conservation departments. Europe, being one of the highest revenue contributors, offers lucrative opportunities for the RTLS players, principally in the healthcare industry. In addition, the low cost of services considerably impacts the increased market share of Eastern Europe over Western Europe. This offers eminent growth potential to the market. Further, the booming retailing industry in France is expected to boost the growth of the RTLS industry in this region.
Asia-Pacific is the third largest region. The real-time location system market in the Asia-Pacific region is experiencing growth owing to the popularity of fast internet connectivity, including 4G connections, ever-growing smartphone penetration, and strong & growing competition among telecom service providers in Asia-Pacific. Additionally, more data can be transported than in previous years thanks to new technologies like 5G. These technologies have facilitated a significant amount of data interchange via mobile and internet networks, enabling businesses to collect enormous amounts of client information. Additionally, it is anticipated that the rise in consumer demand for precise positioning applicable across various industries and technical improvements will drive RTLS demand in this region. Growth in the media and entertainment industry, which includes advertising companies, event organizers, and others, is also expected to utilize RTLS to a great extent during the forecast period. These factors are expected to create numerous opportunities for the growth of RTLS solutions in the region. In addition, the government of India has approved a national map policy in the form of the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill 2016 for geospatial development in the country, which utilizes RTLS with the help of the Indian National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA). Such government initiatives boost market growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
List of key global real-time location system market companies