4 Ways IoT Will Impact the Telecom Industry

If we consider that the tech world invented the Internet of Things (IoT) in 1999 as part of the boom in radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, we can see how much the world has changed in just 20 years. Read on for four ways that IoT will impact the future of the telecommunications industry.

Data Hungry Consumers. Our personal lives are populated with smartphones, smart TVs, smart home appliances, home computers, home medical devices, and the one device to rule them all – the ECHO Dot with Alexa.

The business world reaps benefits from IoT devices that talk to each other, whether it’s controlling huge machines on the factory floor or analyzing big data collected by utility sensors and others.

IoT gives government entities an increased presence based on the wealth of information to which it now has access – not only locally but internationally as well.

We can acknowledge that society itself has changed the way it works thanks to IoT developments. 

Data Drives the Expansion. The telecommunications industry has played a big part in our transformation to consumers of IoT technology. The future shows no sign that IoT technology will reduce its impact on telecommunications. With everything from smart wearables (smartwatches, fitbits, diabetes pumps, etc.) to smart devices that talk to each other, the Interntet of Things expands the universe of telecommunications. Our customers’ hunger for more connectivity between the outside world and their personal lives will drive further expansion. A simple example of the consumer drive for hands-free convenience is that of Alexa taking an order for products/services via a smartphone or smart TV, arranging payment through the consumer’s bank, and then delivering the item to the home through Amazon drones. 

Increased Monitoring of Remote Smart Devices. Today, 30% of telecommunications activity monitors the smart devices we personally wear while we are using that company’s products. Another 33% of telecommunications activity tracks products and services after we purchase/lease them. Another 18% monitors business premises remotely. This is especially true for businesses with remote branches and store locations. Another 18% monitors the supply chain’s production, fulfillment, and distribution. We can expect these percentages to increase as technology advances further.

Monitoring remotely includes using IOT sensors that allow telecommunications companies to:

  • monitor in real-time telecommunications equipment and cell towers;
  • make adjustments to remote equipment to improve efficiency; and
  • send work crews to fix equipment issues as soon as IOT identifies a problem.

Improving Telecommunications Software and Infrastructure. The telecommunications industry may need to restructure its own infrastructure to coordinate with new IoT devices. 

  • Low Power Wan (LPWAN). Arguably, LPWAN is today’s fastest-growing telecommunications technology precisely because LPWAN is a driver of worldwide IoT connectivity. Successful LPWANs must resist interference and packet collisions when traffic is high. A high reception rate usually depends on narrow bandwidth, limits the on-air time, adds frequency diversity to improve the signal to noise ratio.
  • Physical Security Systems. Telecommunications companies use remote cell towers and other valuable equipment. In addition, these sites store fuel and other resources that thieves find attractive. Therefore, telecom companies need to secure the equipment and resources. One way to do that is to install IoT-smart cameras to identify the presence of any outside interference and in real-time. Companies may need to modify existing data security protocols.
  • Monitor Safety Hazards. Many remote areas containing telecom equipment feel the effects of extreme weather, fire, earthquakes, etc. Preventive measures in such events must be instantly performed to prevent damage. In order to do this, compatibility between the Internet of Things and the telecom infrastructure is paramount. Also, cybersecurity is another concern. Infrastructure may need to reflect blockchain technology with respect to security and to use IoT management platforms for efficiency.
  • IoT Solutions Development. As new IoT devices and technology enter the marketplace, telecom companies must understand how their current software matches new IoT demands. 

For additional information regarding the impact of IoT on telecom companies, read IOTforall.com’s June 2019 article entitled “IoT Uses in Telecom”.  If you have any questions regarding IoT or any other telecom topic, please contact us.  Make us your resource for all your telecom industry issues.

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