5G IoT ecosystem

The 5G IoT ecosystem is a vast network of connected technologies, companies, and processes. These work together to create specific applications for specific business or society segments aimed at improving business and processes in these segments. In essence, IoT applications are built around sensors and devices, which collect large amounts of data that provides information about the processes in a particular application domain, such as transportation, logistics or industry. 

Connected IoT devices collect data or carry out specific actions. This data might for example be video images and these actions could be specific robot movements. The IoT devices include application specific electronics systems, like IoT sensors, and integrated electronics systems, like micro-processors. Some of the data analysis and computation is done by the IoT devices themselves to reduce the necessity for transmitting large volumes of data. This local computing is known as edge computing.


The collected data from the many, sometimes thousands of IoT devices is processed and analysed by centrally executed IoT applications. Usually, this is done in a cloud computing environment. Nowadays, these central IoT applications use machine learning and artificial intelligence to make predictions and decisions based on the analysed data. Predictions and decisions may for example involve the planning of predictive maintenance of machines at a factory. 

IoT devices and a cloud-based central application are connected through a mobile network, which allows the IoT devices and cloud applications to communicate with each other and exchange data. Connectivity based on 5G technology provides broadband functionality for sending large data volumes.

The 5G IoT value chain

An IoT value chain, which links all players in an IoT ecosystem, can be seen in the following chart.


Let’s delve into the two axes of the value chain, and discuss both the services and capability perspectives. 

Services axis

The first three positions are located on a so-called services axis, as these concern the delivery of specific IoT services to a specific business segment. Positions on the service axis are:

IoT user organisations 

With the help of IoT, user organisations can remotely monitor assets and operational processes via a well-structured analytics system, creating new opportunities for user organisations for improving efficiencies, reducing cost, and increasing revenue.


Connectivity providers 

Connectivity providers, like public or private mobile operators, provide IoT connectivity between a vast amount of IoT devices that run IoT applications. These use edge computing, back-office IoT cloud platforms, and application servers. Connectivity providers guarantee high quality radio, sufficiently large application bandwidth and network capacity and sufficiently low latency and connection quality coverage in environments where IoT devices are deployed.


IoT application and service providers

IoT application service providers for specific application domains provide the application specific IT environment and services required to execute and manage a particular IoT service. With the help of IoT, user organizations can remotely monitor and manage assets and operational processes via a well-structured analytics system. IoT application service providers will perform such data analytics on the information obtained from the IoT devices in order to manage, control and optimise the IoT applications. Application service providers may use business models like IaaS, PaaS and/or SaaS.

Capability axis

In addition to the service axis, one could also think of a capability axis on which the companies are situated that provide the technologies and expertise that underlie the service axis. The players on the services axis apply the technologies and know-how from the players on the capability axis. Positions on the capability axis are:


IoT application developers

Development of IoT end-to-end applications enabling the connecting of considerable amounts of end-user IoT devices, creating collective intelligence and smart environments. IoT applications will make use of distributed computing and analytics functionality including edge computing and back-end cloud computing. Established companies on the capability axis that offer such platforms and applications are for example Amazon.com Inc, Cisco Systems, Inc. IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, Oracle Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, SAP SE and Siemens AG (Fortune Business Insights, 2021).


IoT hardware providers

Production of IoT devices containing; sensors, actuators, embedded SIMs, Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) and further OEM products, like RF modules through which they connect to cloud-based applications for the particular industry domain.


Cloud computing and IoT platform integration providers 

Cloud-based systems coupled with IoT sensor nodes allows for optimising large data storages with minimum latency, while preventing data tampering at the network level. IoT cloud platform service providers may include data centres, rendering IoT connection protocols, IoT data infrastructure, security protocols and provision of artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities enhancing the specific IoT application.

Omnitele advises telecom operators and user organisations in the application of 5G and IoT technologies and infrastructure. We’re glad to help with planning digitalisation strategies for implementing and optimising both 5G and IoT networks.

You can contact us for consultation here

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