Time for fleet to make connectivity demands
It’s nice to see the international IoT fleet management market bubbling up nicely as existing players and new entrants rush towards the opportunities being created. Antony Savvas says the fleet industry is doing its bit to create an important IoT market, and it’s now time that the mobile operators got their skates on too.
IoT fleet management is expected to generate US$16.86bn (€13.69 billion) in sales by 2025, seeing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.8% between 2018 and 2025, according to research just published by Grand View Research.
While there is much talk about robots and artificial intelligence in the world of IoT, it is good old vehicular internet connectivity that is currently driving much of the current growth, although this of course is expected to change greatly as new services come on stream supported by much faster 5G wireless networks.
Driving apps already here
Wider use of vehicle tracking and monitoring, fleet analytics, fuel management, predictive maintenance, remote diagnostics and driver performance tracking and monitoring are already here. But without ubiquitous high-speed networks at the moment it is fair to say that there is far more growth in these areas to come.
All the above solutions enable fleet operators to not only increase their operational efficiency but also assist them in reducing expenses, and IoT platforms are already available to help organisations to do this for many years to come.
But, as Grand View Research stresses, for IoT technology to work successfully “seamless connectivity” is one of the most important pre-requisites. It adds: “Presence of strong wireless connectivity infrastructure in regions such as North America and Europe has facilitated the widespread adoption of IoT fleet management.”
However, the major mobile operators in these regions are only now starting to move into the new wireless spectrum that is needed to support 5G and even more powerful services. Spectrum auctions are still being conducted in major markets and further testing on 5G is expected to take place over the next 12 months.
While some new wireless services may well be called 5G, many users will suspect that much of the underpinning technology around those services is really 4G. After all, there is still plenty of 3G being used to support what is shown as 4G on devices.
While Grand View rightly says the likes of AT&T, Cisco Systems, Intel Corporation, Verizon and IBM will play major roles in fostering growth prospects in the market, we can expect many smaller players to do their bit in pushing things forward.
In fact, now that many IoT systems for fleet management are already in place, with plans afoot to further upgrade them, it is the whole industry’s responsibility to join together and demand that the mobile operators support businesses that are ready for 5G now.
Building a 5G network, unlike a 3G or 4G one, is more of a piecemeal process, with more antennas needed to provide a service. As a result, 5G hotspots are expected to prevail for some time to come.
Therefore, the fleet industry should demand that transport hubs and roads should be included in any 5G hotspot list.
The author of this blog is Antony Savvas, a freelance technology writer