Does the opportunity around IoT give back the momentum to MNO’s?

Just how valuable is IoT expected to be? There have been some numbers ‘bandied about’ in the order of forty (40) to fifty (50) Billion connected devices by 2025. No matter what the size of the number, it will be of sufficient size to matter. This then begs the question, who will IoT matter to, and will progressive MNO’s be able to take early adopter advantage to make most of the opportunity?

Arguably, the Internet of Things can be described as the maturation and evolution of Machine 2 Machine (M2M) technology. The evolutionary leap from M2M to IoT sees the connected device, not only give information concerning its principle function and itself, but also sees the information pushed into the Business System ‘Mash-up’ Management Layer, often in the cloud, where it merges with a plethora of other information, (Big Data) to provide meaningful input into the Enterprise applications ‘Machine’ for the purpose of improving overall business performance and decision making.

So why are progressive MNO’s in the hot seat to take advantage of what IoT promises to be? Progressive MNO’s are software enabled. Many of the new network architectures have commoditised the hardware layer in favour of a standardized and open source software stack. This flattening of the network architecture, and a reliance on software at the edge, has enabled the MNO’s for IoT, as IoT, as opposed to M2M, relies heavily on software abstraction layers to render information supplied by the readable device, worthy and complimentary to the Enterprise application stack.

In the past networks have been described as dumb pipes. This was OK as those networks connected to people using mobile devices, dumb pipes but smart end points. In the age of IoT the endpoints are not human beings (intelligent) but dumb devices (thermostats etc) so arguably we need smarter networks to service these dumb devices. The New open source Mobile network architectures are smarter networks. The fabric of software defined intelligence permeates the network from the network layer to the orchestration layer.

With IoT creating a vast amount of data, in respect of each and every connected device, there will exist a huge opportunity to glean context and behavioral data (data mine) from the valuable resource that IoT promises to be. This resource, and the MNO’s ability to create, manage and mine this resource places the new MNO in a prestigious position in respect of understanding the desires, wants and needs of the customer, and enables and empowers the MNO to develop and deploy new services to the customer.

The final part of the IoT puzzle will be the MNO defining the right partnerships leading to collaboration and corroboration around the value creation process. Partnerships will enable MNO’s to partner with industry groups, digital enablers, and service providers in ‘incentivising’ consumer data. Doing this successfully may see the next paradigm change when technology is no longer an industry but a layer and where the ones who control it become the provider of everything for everyone.

About the Author: I am an experienced Over the Top (OTT) Software as a Service (SaaS) entrepreneur and innovator having co-founded a start-up in voice, messaging and communications in 2006 and operated and established software development offices in China, Serbia and Spain. Building a communications platform I developed expertise over mobile platforms, app development, and web development, both front and back end. Please contact me at: if you would like to discuss employment, both consulting and full-time employment.

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