Light Reading

Poll: IoT Will Require Network Overhaul

Jason Meyers
7/9/2014
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The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) will intensify the demand on mobile networks and require carriers to adapt both network systems and devices, according to a recent poll of the Light Reading community.

Out of nearly 900 respondents to the poll, 38% believe IoT traffic and device proliferation will increase the demand placed on networks, and 30% think the IoT will require service providers to upgrade both networks and devices.

Indeed, it will radically transform the business of mobile network operators, as tens of millions of connected devices are added to networks. Early activity around standards development has already created some confusion in the IoT community, as all manner of IoT participants -- chipmakers, device manufacturers, infrastructure developers, and service providers -- scramble to join one of the many emerging standards development camps. (See Intel, Others Form Another IoT Alliance .)

Despite that rising hum of activity, some 17% of Light Reading poll respondents aren't buying the IoT hype, while 15% expect businesses to bypass carriers and set up their own networks to connected devices.

A recent Heavy Reading Insider report, "IoT Platforms: A Heavy Reading Competitive Analysis," explores the kinds of systems that must be put in place for mobile operators to help manage the tasks that go along with connecting IoT devices -- everything from connectivity to device management to application creation and customization. (See IoT: More Things, More Challenges.)

As is the case for many categories of service, the imperative for mobile operators in the IoT era is to avoid becoming simply a mode of transport. Adapting and upgrading networks to handle the IoT onslaught and implementing platforms that add intelligence to application development and device connectivity are the first steps toward achieving that end.

— Jason Meyers, Utility Communications Editor, Light Reading

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nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/9/2014 | 11:27:05 PM
Re: Poll: IoT Will Require Network Overhaul
@jason: I always wondered if there were operators specialized for M2M. Thank you for sharing the names. But what exactly Kore and Raco are upto in M2M space? Is it app development, m2m platform, specialized services or anything else?
mhhf1ve
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50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/9/2014 | 4:38:22 PM
Who are these 17%?
I'm frankly surprised that so many people said "Things" don't have a lot to say... maybe so, but there are so many things, that in the aggregate their data streams could be enormous. 

But I'm not even sure that Things don't have a lot to say.. video/audio capture from smart Things could sure have a LOT to say (every pic is worth more than a thousand words...).
DHagar
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DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/9/2014 | 3:27:52 PM
Re: Poll: IoT Will Require Network Overhaul
@jasonmeyers, good info.  I think you might be right about new partnerships - maybe a hybrid?

The other players that I know have their eye on major IoT markets are:  Cisco, GE and Phillips.
jasonmeyers
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jasonmeyers,
User Rank: Blogger
7/9/2014 | 3:12:15 PM
Re: Poll: IoT Will Require Network Overhaul
Good question. There are some network operators focused entirely on IoT/M2M, like Raco Wireless, Kore, and Aeris Communications. Maybe you know of others? The question with them is if they are big enough to compete with the larger operators -- or if they will partner with the larger operators. 
DHagar
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DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/9/2014 | 1:43:58 PM
Re: Poll: IoT Will Require Network Overhaul
@jasonmeyers, that makes sense.  My question is whether or not the networks have the ability, and interest, to step up to the task. 

They are clearly the logical player in "hosting" the platform for development of IoT connectivity; plus it adds another revenue-generating stream.  There really are no other logical players are there?
jasonmeyers
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jasonmeyers,
User Rank: Blogger
7/9/2014 | 11:01:40 AM
The Network Question(s)
The role of networks in the IoT ecosystem is far from clearly defined at this point. In addition to the need for platforms that enable device management and application development, everything from how IoT devices connect and what those connections will cost is still in question.
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