IoT in the Telecom Industry: Connecting the Unconnected
The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) has created new business potential for the telecom industry through increased connectivity, and it is expected to keep on growing with the boost of 5G technologies by 2023. Connectivity nowadays needs to be agile, to meet the network performance required for a wide range of new business models, applications and devices. RFID, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Cellular, satellite, LPWAN, and so on, are some possible types of network connectivity for a sensor or device. The chart below summarises the various IoT technologies and their features.
Our industry is moving fast, and many things have happened recently, especially in IoT. By the end of 2021, the number of connected devices will hit 46 billion. For example, Google Home is expected to have 48% market share of the IoT device market in 2022. . IoT combined with big data can extend existing applications broadly. Some examples of industries that can readily benefit from IoT services are smart cities, utilities, manufacturing, security, agriculture, and logistics.
Mobile operators should plan and decide on their IoT activities to better serve their customers. Today, operators can start with the following steps:
- Select the technologies needed to support the offering: Technology roadmap/selection process – driven by addressable market of different applications enabled by different technologies
- Activate technologies on the sites or rollout new network/overlay: Rollout planning – with different link budget there would be some work related to coverage planning regardless of the chosen technology
- Build the back-end/middle-ware, or partner with someone with that capability: Defining the process flow for middle-ware to work – a role more for BSS vendors/consultants
- Educate the market and sell the service
It’s imperative to understand that IoT is all about integration, as IoT cannot be sold as simple connectivity. Instead, an IoT solution is sold as a part packaged service, which might contain APIs, device management, security, and also typical BSS services, such as billing and activation with a concentration on self-service. The key is to reduce the barrier of adoption, so that SMEs/the general public with minimal technology knowledge can understand and start using it.
Network connectivity combined with big data analysis and the cloud are considered key for transformation, because it enables the users to identify the patterns, pick up trends and improve their services/ products. Subsequently make smarter decisions, based on the insights gathered with the analysis.
Omnitele advises telecom operators and user organisations in the application of IoT technologies and infrastructure. We’re glad to help with planning digitalisation strategies for implementing and optimising IoT networks.
You can contact us for consultation here
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