IoT Strategies

Leading Lights 2019 Finalists: Most Innovative IoT/M2M Strategy

It's easy to overlook the IoT-related opportunities that some markets -- like smart cities and industrial applications -- provide for service providers. The deals are more complex, with more moving parts, and connectivity is just the beginning of where service providers can make a difference -- if they have the right partners and technology strategy in place.

Ovum estimates that service providers only generate "around 10–15% of overall IoT revenue" from connectivity, Ovum Senior Analyst Carrie Pawsey writes in her latest IoT report. "This means that most CSPs are looking to provide other functions within the value chain, such as device management, applications, analytics, systems integration, and project management."

Companies with broad strategies but with a careful eye toward making IoT simpler seemed to stand out in this category. This specific award will go to "the communications service provider, systems integrator or technology developer that has unveiled the most innovative Internet of Things/Machine to Machine (IoT/M2M) strategy during the past year."

The winners and the identities of this year's Light Reading Hall of Fame inductees will be announced at the Leading Lights Awards dinner, which will be held at the Pinnacle Club in Denver, on Monday, May 6, on the eve of the Big 5G Event. Find out about how to book a table and attend the awards dinner by clicking on this link.

Here are some details about the shortlisted entries in the category of Most Innovative IoT/M2M Strategy:

Nokia is helping IoT take flight (groan!) with WING, its Worldwide IoT Network Grid, and the way it combines gear, cloud computing and go-to-market support in a single service. It's a real managed service offering that covers everything from core IoT infrastructure to connectivity management for vertical industries like logistics, agriculture, and so on. The value for network operators and enterprises is that the investment size and commitment starts small and scales with success. To date, a lot of vendors have offered great IoT point solutions, but the up-front costs and follow-on services were lacking. Nokia's pre-packaged agriculture solution, for example, allows service providers to deliver a subscription-based solution where farmers can "access weather, soil and crop data for timely actions to increase yield, decrease costs and mitigate risks," according to the company's Leading Lights entry. Several big operator trials are ongoing and we look forward to hearing more.

Senet's strategy centers on reducing the time to market for service providers and other companies looking to dive into IoT. The company's Senet Low Power Wide Area Virtual Network (LVN) offers global connectivity and billing support for IoT clients. The company provides different levels of revenue sharing depending on how much service it provides. The reach that Senet offers made it one to watch for service provider consideration. From its Leading Lights entry, "Senet's partnerships with distributors such as Arrow Electronics further simplify LVN connectivity for IoT application providers by enabling out-of-the-box compatibility between commercially available gateway products and the Senet network, which currently provides coverage and connectivity readiness in over 80 countries."

Sprint (in partnership with Ericsson)
Sprint's Curiosity IoT platform is all about cutting down on latency between the IoT application processing and the IoT device. The strategy Sprint and partner Ericsson pursued was to create a dedicated, virtualized IoT core network and integrated operating system that helped customers simplify the integration, reporting and onboarding of IoT devices across multiple geographies. The Curiosity platform also offers service-level agreements measuring "availability, latency and jitter. It is also architected to be access-agnostic supporting licensed, unlicensed, cellular, satellite, low-power wide-area (LPWA), wireline and 5G when ready," Sprint said in its Leading Lights entry. With worldwide roaming, a dedicated network and uniform SLAs on all devices, Sprint is making a case for enterprises to be much more than curious about its Curiosity IoT platform.

Wind River
Wind River's IoT strategy is also very much about targeting vertical industries that are already running specialized applications on purpose-built hardware. It aims to get those applications running on a single edge compute platform to make things more simple, secure and easier to manage but the company does so without forcing these industrial giants to abandon or rewrite their legacy code. This happens by way of its Wind River Helix Virtualization Platform and the industries name-checked in Wind River's entry included aerospace, defense, industrial, automotive and medical. "Consolidation of multiple applications into one platform allows common edge devices to serve diverse system architecture needs, like low latency control functions on a [real-time operating system] RTOS alongside Linux-based applications/frameworks, like machine learning," Wind River writes in its entry.

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Phil Harvey, US Bureau Chief, Light Reading

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