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IoT Growth, Transformation and New opportunities for the Telecoms Industry

IoT growth presents opportunities for Telecoms and taking up those opportunities has the ability to transform the business, despite any challenges that IoT may bring.

IoT: the foundation of transformation and automation

IoT has and will continue to, bring widespread automation and the need for better connectivity, and this will change life as we know it. It’s advancing the equipment we use with new technology in the form of exceptionally small sensors to collect and relay data.

IoT is a huge network made up of hardware, software, and applications that interact with one another. Everyday “things” like refrigerators, coffee pots and cars can be equipped with sensors that make devices “smart” by giving the ability to control things from a mobile device.

According to Visual Capitalist, within a few years, 40% of all data produced will come from the sensors on smart devices. There are already hundreds of millions of networked sensors in certain industries like transportation, utilities, industrial and retail, and these minute sensors are transforming the world.

Entire homes can be controlled from a device across the world, while on a smaller scale, little tracker devices can be placed on small objects like keyrings or mobile devices so as not to misplace them.

With a need for so much data, comes a demand for platforms as a “bridge” between sensors and internet data; small Telecoms companies are taking advantage of the opportunity of potential revenue by operating as IoT service providers.

The Growth of IoT

According to Market Research Future, the IoT Telecom services market is set for a CAGR of 36.96% during the forecast period of 2018 to 2023, with Asia-Pacific expected to grow the fastest due to increasing investments in the Telecom industry by the government.

On a global scale, the IoT Telecom services market was valued at USD 3.45 billion in 2017 and within just six years (up to the year 2023), is expected to reach a whopping USD 22.57 billion. 

The growth rate is largely due to major industry players like AT&T, Inc. (US), Verizon Communications, Inc. (US), Ericsson (Sweden), Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (China), Sprint Corporation (US), Deutsche Telekom AG (Germany), Vodafone (UK), Aeris (France), and T-Mobile (US). 

Going forward, the increasing adoption of cloud computing and applications like smart buildings, vehicle telematics and industrial automation are likely to further push the demand for the IoT Telecom services market globally. 

Better connectivity is another factor in driving demand during the forecast period. 

Low-power, wide-area (LPWAN) technologies will more than likely replace short-range wireless and mobile WAN technologies including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Near Field Communication (NFC). 

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IoT Growth brings new Telecoms opportunities

The rise of IoT brings an opportunity to operators to generate new value and revenue; allowing Telecommunications to compete not only on the functionality and performance of products and services but the insight created by the use of these products or services, giving operators new ways to differentiate offerings and a new source of value.

The main opportunities from IoT for Telecoms include:

1: Improved customer satisfaction

Collect data for analysis about processes and offerings in real-time to make the best decisions that impact customers positively.

2: Flexible, cost-effective cloud computing

Collect data to transform a smart environment into a decision-making platform and transfer it to the cloud through IoT.

business model

3: New business models

Build new business models and revenue streams. As IoT progresses, people and businesses will require new services. IoT enables operators to create new revenue streams and services on top of core services.

Break into the market with these six typical business models:

  • IaaS; uses data package sales model.
  • PaaS; SIM card management services and customer-facing services.
  • PaaS +; build an AEP to integrate CaaS capabilities with third-party capabilities. Open these capabilities to developers through cloud APIs. 
  • SaaS; build all-purpose industry suites by refining solutions for common industry requirements.
  • SaaS +; provide connectivity plus device and upper-layer application platforms.
  • BaaS; operate in cross-sectors.

Huawei analysed top operators who implemented IoT, and based on their analysis, recommend the following three models:

  • Connection and cloud: provide basic bundled cloud services. Good for operators with a strong network and minimal IoT experience.
  • Platform provider: rapid integration, TTM plus cross-selling of products, providing open APIs, building an IoT ecosystem with development tools. A good choice for operators with ecosystem capabilities.
  • Solution integrator: service integration of SaaS and devices; value sharing with industry players. Good for companies with a strong network, IT capabilities and an intimate grasp of the target industry.
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4: Intelligent operations

With the growth of IoT, the need for data grows. Managing this huge amount of data is challenging, but designing smart cloud operation management solutions to optimize the cloud infrastructure is a further opportunity.


Profit margins have already been decreasing due to new technologies and the scope of services from Telecom companies and internet service providers (ISP) as the lines between Telecom and technology blur. 

It is vital to prepare and get ready for IoT and the ways it can generate more revenue.  

Becoming an IoT connectivity service provider plus offering M2M devices can transform Telecoms in the next few years promoting IoT growth.

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