We are currently living through the fourth industrial revolution where technology is shaping industries, cities, and how we live. This is a topic that has been widely discussed in recent years and the introduction of 5G is set to have a significant impact on the future. Central to this discussion is the future of Internet of Things (IoT) and how this smart tech trend is set to shape the industrial and consumer world as we know it.
IoT: Market landscape
When we talk about IoT, we are referring to IoT devices that make use of sensors and actuators to collect and analyse data from their environment. This network of devices is connected to the internet and gathers, shares, and analyses information which facilitates a related action. IoT devices include anything from computers, tablets, mobile devices, laptops, smartphones, wearables, smart home devices, machinery, robotics, and more.
The IoT market is a vast network made up of hardware, software, and applications that interact with one another. How big is this market? Forecasts suggest that by 2025 there will be more than 75 billion Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices in use. It is also projected that by 2024 the data volume created by IoT connections is projected to reach a massive total of 79.4 zettabytes. In terms of global spending on IoT, we will reach 1.1 trillion U.S dollars by 2023.
These estimates showcase that IoT is set to have a big impact globally, both in terms of consumer IoT and industrial IoT. The growth in this market is primarily due to the many benefits that IoT provides for consumers and industry verticals in relation to data insights, automation and convenience. This includes enhanced productivity, automation of operations, customer experience improvements, greater operational efficiency, cost savings, insight focused decision making and more.
The Future of the Internet of Things: 5 Predictions
With so much growth expected over the next few years within this market, there are several trend predictions of how IoT will be used and developed in the future. These are our top 5 predictions for the future of the internet of things,
The move towards smart cities and houses
We have already started to see this trend take flight with the addition of many smart home appliances. These include gadgets like smart refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, sound and light systems, security systems, and more. Each of these appliances and systems can be automated and controlled remotely or by voice recognition.
By using IoT, cities will be able to automate, remotely manage, and collect data from around the city. This will assist in solving issues related to traffic safety, congestion, parking, and more.
Smart technology will be able to assist with predicting maintenance needs relating to roads, bridges, etc., and for enhancing the safety of the city.
With the use of facial recognition, biometric systems, security cameras, etc. law enforcement will have more efficient and effective tools needed to solve a crime, protect citizens and assist those who need assistance. This is just the start, there are so many other applications for the use of IoT in a city that will enhance citizen and visitor experiences and safety.
Big data analytics brings with it more opportunities
We have mentioned before that IoT brings with it immense amounts of data and traffic. This increased data brings with it an opportunity to enhance customer experience, reduce churn, increase revenue, etc. But how? The answer lies in using the data gained from IoT devices and algorithms to interpret consumer trends, opportunities and identify problems to better cater to customer needs.
This can be used across different industry verticals that include manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and more. For example, in the healthcare sector, IoT wearables are being used to share data with medical professionals that provide insight into a patient’s vital signs, reactions to medications, etc. This data can provide insight into the patients’ health and allow for a faster diagnosis and more personalised care. This technology can also be used in the law enforcement sector, an example being the use of drones to help search large areas for a missing person or to provide intel of a dangerous situation. By using the data collected by IoT devices, you will be able to enhance efficiency, safety, operations, and more.
Artificial intelligence and the impact on big data
We have already discussed the importance of big data, but artificial intelligence (AI) is key to this and will remain a contributing factor to the success of IoT. Artificial intelligence, which uses machine learning, is the technology that helps organisations make sense of the immense amount of big data being transferred between IoT devices.
AI assists with data preparation, the visualisation of streaming data, the accuracy of data, and providing real-time data analytics. In simple terms, IoT allows for the flow of data, and AI makes sense of that data by interpreting it in a way that facilitates actionable insights which are often automated. AI also reduces the chance of human error and is considered to be a critical element needed for the future of internet of things market growth.
Edge Computing over Cloud Computing
Edge computing brings cloud computing properties closer to the edge of the network. Why is this important and more efficient than cloud computing itself? The Cloud is great for storing and processing data, but the stream of data backwards and forwards from the cloud often causes delays and opens up the data to security risks.
Edge computing changes this architecture and brings cloud capabilities to local devices, allowing for faster data processing, minimised latency, reduced security concerns, and enhanced bandwidth utilisation. This also offers faster connectivity, processing, and increased reliability for IoT.
5G Networks will continue to impact IoT growth
5G adoption is set to be one of the biggest accelerators of the IoT market. 5G brings with it enhanced speed, reliability, connectivity, increased bandwidth utilisation, and low latency. Currently, the 4G network can support up to 5500 to 6000 NB-IOT devices on a single cell, a 5G network will be able to support one million devices on a single cell. This is an important number considering that by 2030 it is estimated that more than 100 billion IoT devices will be connected.
This enhanced capacity, as well as the capability of edge computing, means that the network will be able to support the growth of IoT, which cannot function without reliable network connections.
This provides an opportunity to innovate and create solutions that many thought impossible. For example, research firm Gartner was bold enough to estimate that over the next few years, there would be 250 million connected cars on the world’s roads, with many new cars capable of driving themselves.
5G also has the added benefit of enhanced security and privacy as it has a general data protection regulation focus that will reduce the vulnerabilities associated with the transfer of data between IoT devices. This will further enable the use of augmented reality, virtual reality technology, and innovations like driverless cars.
What does this mean for the Telcos?
The future of internet of things brings immense potential for growth and differentiation within the Telco space. Telcos have an opportunity to create new revenue streams by answering the IoT needs and requirements of both consumers and enterprises.
The Telco business model is flexible enough to expand on their offerings and services to carve out a niche of IoT solutions, aimed at giving them a competitive edge and ensuring growth and profitability. Telcos can also use this innovative technology, and the big data analytics it provides, to enhance their customer experience, operational efficiency, automate processes and systems. This will add more value to their customer base, which will positively impact the business’s bottom line.
The future of internet of things provides many industry verticals with opportunities to enhance different aspects of their business. With the move towards 5G and the capabilities of AI, IoT is set to change the world as we know it. In the future, you will be living in smart cities and homes made possible by this smart technology. Business is also set to change, as technology drives big data analytics which enables businesses and Telcos to do more, offer more, enhance customer experience, optimise operations and ultimately increase revenue. It will be interesting to watch how this technology develops and is adapted across the different industry verticals in the coming years
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As the Global Head of Marketing and Business Development with 20 years of experience, Agnieszka’s expertise lies in the practical implementation of digital and traditional marketing strategies for B2C and B2B companies. Through her long-term, client-focused, strategic approach, and branding experience, she continues to develop innovative marketing plans that yield significant results. Now working in the SaaS industry, she oversees a multitude of solutions within the telecommunications industry including Customer Experience & Self-service, VAS, NextGen, IoT, FinTech, and Advanced Analytics.