In the vision of more than 50 billion connected devices, everything that can benefit from a connection will be connected. People are already online, connected and interacting. The next step is to get things and places online and interacting. And we are moving fast in that direction. The vision of more than 50 billion connected devices by 2020 may seem ambitious today, but with the right approach, it is within reach.
The vision of more than 50 billion connected devices, based on ubiquitous internet access over mobile broadband, devices or things will be connected and networked independently of where they are. Falling prices for communication, combined with new services and functionality connecting virtually everything to serve a wide range of commercial applications, individual needs and needs of society.
The 50 billion connected devices vision marks the beginning of a new era of innovative, intertwined, combined products and services that utilize the power of networks.
Networks that can support the exponential growth in the number of devices and meet the needs of specific vertical industries are crucial elements in the vision of more than 50 billion connected devices. The solutions must be open and standards-based to provide interoperability between ecosystem players and vertical industries.
An additional challenge to consider when developing new ecosystems is the need to integrate applications over different networks, and even different network technologies.
In industrial applications that need to interact with various, constantly-connected devices, integration across networks may become a necessity. The simplest level of integration is using national roaming to secure coverage. On top of that there may be the challenge of integration across different generations of mobile networks or integration of fixed and mobile services, and even integration across different mobile standards to secure service.
The cost of cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) modules is estimated to be falling at an annual rate of 15 percent, which makes connectivity-based services increasingly affordable. The cost of connectivity is already as low as USD 1.4 per gigabyte
The increased dependence on mobile systems will introduce demands for constant availability, resilience, coverage, latency and bandwidth. These demands, in turn, necessitate service level agreements and policy-enforcement solutions to ensure that the application can be run cost-efficiently and in accordance with agreements.
The human aspect of more than 50 billion connected devices goes way beyond smart living and new gaming devices. What’s needed is networking on a logical level, where devices communicate with each other and with people in a way that is quick and easy to relate to and understand. Consumers prefer not to be bombarded with generic, irrelevant information and messages. Personal integrity and privacy must always be taken into account.
The industry must drive integration across networks and access technologies to support simple and seamless device connectivity and services. Connectivity and service brokering, with national and international roaming agreements, are key. Tariffs and subscription models need to adapt to the way in which devices and services are actually used.