Why visibility is key to unleashing the IoT’s potential

John English of NETSCOUT

Predicted to generate more than $450 billion (€365.03 billion) in annual revenues by 2020, the IoT presents massive opportunities for telecommunications service providers. However, competition will be fierce; major telcos such as Verizon, Vodafone, and Deutsche Telecom have already invested billions with connectivity plays as well as on IoT services and platforms, meaning smaller carriers will need to move quickly to keep pace.

For operators to realise the IoT’s full potential, it is important that they look beyond just providing basic connectivity and consider how they can move up the value chain. Through offering value-added services including security, analytics, data storage and brokerage, business consulting, and systems integration, they can dramatically increase their stake in the IoT, says John English, senior manager, Service Provider Solutions at NETSCOUT.

In addition, IoT solutions enable operators to provide “smart data” (real-time, scalable meta data imbued with user experience that is derived from network traffic) that can be monetised as part of the metering and usage charges, such as providing information for security, lighting, parking, etc. as part of a smart city play.

By expanding their business model into new IoT device and service payment schemes, carriers can relieve their dependency on flat rate data plans for internet connectivity. Through this approach, they will be able to generate vital revenue, and make essential investments in their networks to support the ever-increasing traffic.

In particular, service providers have opportunities in the following areas:

  • Connectivity – Only service providers have the necessary experience to deliver scale connectivity that interconnects billions of devices with analytics engines and massive data warehouses. This layer also includes network services—such as quality-of-service guarantees and pricing plans that support the IoT—along with the ability to run analytics engines in the network to manage data flows more effectively and to accelerate response time.
  • Service level agreements – All IoT devices and services are not created equal. The bandwidth and traffic priority will vary greatly from “life line” medical and car emergency with low bandwidth devices to connected/autonomous cars with the need for ultra-low latency and extreme availability requirements, to entertainment with high bandwidth requirements, and many more variations.

Think carrier-grade IoT— not for refrigerator out of milk sensors but for applications like robotics, telemedicine, power plant sensors, and connected cars that demand the highest availability. Service providers can only assure what they are measuring. A case in point, BMW switched from Vodafone to Deutsche Telekom due to poor service quality.

  • Life cycle management – Service providers can also leverage their ability managing life cycle management in a way that ensures network security, device directory maintenance, and rights management. Such management often takes place years after the devices are installed and spans a universe of devices that is much larger than other suppliers typically manage.
  • IoT platformsAmazon Web Services, Microsoft and IBM are all IoT partners for AT&T, and smaller cloud service providers are also part of the carrier’s IoT ecosystem. A total of 19 different cloud service providers connect to AT&T’s IoT device management platform through the company’s NetBond portal, which integrates cloud service providers as virtual extensions of the multiprotocol label switching virtual private networks that AT&T offers business customers. Having holistic visibility to this multi cloud environment will be critical to its success delivery of services.

Vertical solutions are the industry-specific offers that deliver value to enterprises and consumers. Service Providers may choose to build industry-specific IoT platforms or facilitate, through the underlying layers, vertical solutions that others provide.

  • Security – IoT devices and services are being rapidly developed to get to market quickly and cheaply and without concern for device and service availability and security. New narrow band and machine to machine networks are being deployed (LTE-M, NB-IoT, LoRa and Sigfox), and these need proactive monitoring in order to assure quality service delivery and provide network and device security.

For telcos to successfully harness all of these new revenue opportunities, visibility and intelligence will be paramount. This will be compounded as network infrastructure moves to the edge to support the new data loads and traffic patterns that the IoT will drive.

While moving cloud, compute and processing power to the edge of the network enables data to be processed immediately, making a wide range of IoT services possible, it also adds to the complexity of an already complex network.

With IoT solutions underpinning more and more of our lives and businesses, there can’t afford to be an “off.” Having complete visibility across the entire environment is therefore paramount, to ensure operators can assure their IoT services, and realise the IoT’s full potential.

The author of this blog is John English, senior manager, Service Provider Solutions at NETSCOUT

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

RECENT ARTICLES

Aeris to acquire IoT business from Ericsson

Posted on: December 8, 2022

Ericsson and Aeris Communications, a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions based in San Jose, California, have signed an agreement for the transfer of Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator and Connected Vehicle Cloud businesses.

Read more

Telenor IoT passes milestone of 20mn SIM cards

Posted on: December 8, 2022

Telenor, the global IoT provider and telecom operator, has experienced rapid growth over the last years and ranks among the top 3 IoT operators in Europe and among the top IoT operators in the world. The positive development is due to an accelerated pace of new customers combined with a successful growth of existing customers’

Read more
FEATURED IoT STORIES

The IoT Adoption Boom – Everything You Need to Know

Posted on: September 28, 2022

In an age when we seem to go through technology boom after technology boom, it’s hard to imagine one sticking out. However, IoT adoption, or the Internet of Things adoption, is leading the charge to dominate the next decade’s discussion around business IT. Below, we’ll discuss the current boom, what’s driving it, where it’s going,

Read more

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more