The IoT phenomenon will equate to nothing if the industry fails to connect the dots

By Zenobia Hegde

The Internet of Things is no longer the future. It’s very much the present and the market is growing at an exponential rate, says Robin Kent, director of European operations, Adax. It’s set to quadruple in size, growing from US$900 billion (€758.25 billion) in 2014 to $4.3 trillion (€3.62 trillion) by 2024, with more than 30 billion connected devices in use.

Approximately 7.5 billion of those devices will access a cellular IoT core network, which is three times greater than the number of LTE-connected smartphones today. Service providers have faced waves of game changing technologies influenced by end user demand over the past 20 years, including the rise of SMS and the explosion of Over-The-Top (OTT) applications on smartphones, and IoT is in the same bracket, if not out on its own as the future of the technology world.

If media and analyst predictions on its rate of growth are proved true, the telecoms industry faces huge pressure. It will play the pivotal role in anchoring connections from device to device and the core. But if connections are lost, what are the consequences? And how do service providers play their part in ensuring they’re not faced with dealing with the impact of potential downtime?

Driving the business model development

With predictions that total M2M revenue opportunity is forecast to reach $1.6 trillion (€1.35 trillion) in 2024, up from $500 billion (€421.25 billion) in 2014 (an annual growth of 12%), it’s clear why so many industries are vying for their piece of the pie. Telecoms has been identified as the glue which will hold the connected world together so it’s vital that any teething problems in these early years are identified and resolved.

Just last month, we saw Vodafone delve into the consumer side of IoT with the launch of its new “V by Vodafone” bundle, whereby consumers are charged for the number of connected devices they add to their monthly plan. Consumers are one of many drivers behind the rise of IoT and it won’t be long before other operators follow in Vodafone’s footsteps.

Latency is not an option

For the true benefits of IoT to be recognised, highly reliable connectivity is key. Much in the same way networks deal with voice calls, device connection must be immediate and on hand whenever called upon, as well as being reliable and strong to avoid latency. Devices vary depending on their use case, throughput requirements, power consumption and the service requirements across different IoT applications. These applications can be categorised by two factors: data throughput and connectivity.

Connectivity is key for the wide range of applications that have a low tolerance of latency. These include; location-based marketing and advertising; industrial robotics and environmental control; smart home control; augmented and virtual reality; vehicle control and telematics; and remote personal healthcare, remote surgery and some wearables. It’s vitally important that operators have the correct tools in place that address latency control, reliability improvement and authentication for such applications.

Keeping a close connection

It’s paramount for operators to have an understanding of how to build a […]

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Posted on: December 26, 2017

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