“IoT as it relates to the telecoms industry has grown up,” said Matthew Hatton, Founding Partner of Transforma Insights, introducing today’s Total Telecom Congress panel on revenue opportunities for telcos through the IoT.
The telecoms sector at large has shown immense interest in the development and expansion of the IoT, from simple yet valuable applications such as simple smart sensors…
“IoT as it relates to the telecoms industry has grown up,” said Matthew Hatton, Founding Partner of Transforma Insights, introducing today’s Total Telecom Congress
panel on revenue opportunities for telcos through the IoT.
The telecoms sector at large has shown immense interest in the development and expansion of the IoT, from simple yet valuable applications such as simple smart sensors, to the vast complexities of autonomous vehicles and concepts like the ‘smart city’. The steady rollout of 5G, with its high bandwidth and low latency, is rapidly transforming the IoT industry in a way that could never have been realised in the 4G era.
But, with such huge growth predicted, telcos must be careful in employing the right strategy towards the IoT. The IoT ecosystem itself is currently highly diverse, with a plethora of smaller players struggling to break through. This leaves telcos with a difficult predicament: how do we navigate this ecosystem in a profitable way?
“The biggest challenge, as well as the biggest opportunity, is how far we can go in the value chain when it comes to this technology,” explained Jan Hruška, Chief Technology Officer of O2 Czech Republic.
Verizon’s Director of Product Management Shamik Basu agreed, saying that hoping to cash in on the connectivity alone for these solutions is not enough. “MNOs will have to climb up the stack,” he said “The question is how. There is an ecosystem of partnerships that need to be built.”
For many of the panelists, telcos’ position within the IoT industry must be as an aggregator, bringing together this wider ecosystem under one banner to better serve their customers.
“Fundamentally the IoT market it quite fragmented, from cloud and edge players to device manufacturers,” said Deepak Pande, SVP & Business Head – IoT at Jio Platforms. “Telcos can find value as aggregators, using their muscle to bring together all of these players into one service.”
“To succeed in this environment telcos need to be equipped with a solution that delivers agility, flexibility, and a fast introduction of new services,” added Dusan Bystriansky, Founder & Group CEO of Emeldi UK. “We believe that a big chunk of the IoT opportunity is with the enterprise market. However, there is also huge potential in the consumer market.”
As 5G and the IoT continues to mature, ushering in Industry 4.0, telcos must carefully navigate this burgeoning ecosystem, whether through acquisitions, partnerships or in-house design, and stake their claim for a share of the profits. With the much less regulated hyperscalers looming, telcos need to be quick and decisive or else risk seeing the industry consolidated without them.
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