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Ericsson Technology Review: Spotlight on the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as a fundamental cornerstone in the digitalization of both industry and society as a whole. It represents a huge opportunity not only in economic terms, but also from a global challenges perspective – making it easier for governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to address pressing food, energy, water and climate related issues. This special issue of Ericsson Technology Review is solely focused on IoT opportunities and challenges.

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October 15, 2019

The Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as a fundamental cornerstone in the digitalization of both industry and society as a whole. It represents a huge opportunity not only in economic terms, but also from a global challenges perspective – making it easier for governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to address pressing food, energy, water and climate related issues.

5G and the IoT are closely intertwined. One of the biggest innovations within 5G is support for the IoT in all its forms, both by addressing mission criticality as well as making it possible to connect low-cost, long-battery-life sensors.

With this in mind, we decided to create a special issue of Ericsson Technology Review solely focused on IoT opportunities and challenges. I hope it provides you with valuable insights about the IoT-related opportunities available to your organization, along with ideas about how we can overcome the challenges ahead.

At its heart, the IOT involves the collection and analysis of insights and the automation of processes involving machines, things, places and people, thus in essence fusing the physical and cyber realms into one system. In so doing, it transforms business models – making it possible to sell services rather than products, for example, or outcomes instead of services – as well as enabling the reengineering of business processes to achieve the same outcome in a more efficient way.

Not a single technology, the IoT is instead composed of a set of key technologies, encompassing devices with sensors and actuators, connectivity, cloud and edge computing, artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) and security.

5G and the IoT are closely intertwined. One of the biggest innovations within 5G is support for the IoT in all its forms, both by addressing mission criticality as well as making it possible to connect low-cost, long-battery-life sensors.

Supporting the fourth industrial revolution

Industry 4.0 – also known as the fourth industrial revolution – is already heavily reliant on IoT technologies. Manufacturing companies have demanding requirements in terms of cost, flexibility, safety and performance, and it is critical that their requirements are addressed in the ongoing development of the IoT. The automotive and transportation industry is another sector that is undergoing fundamental technology changes that require specialized IoT support. Both of these sectors are examined in detail in this issue of the magazine.

Harnessing the full potential

Fundamental to any IoT solution is the ability to connect the things of interest. Huge potential is lost when it is not possible to get the relevant things and locations online. When everything is connected, however, a wealth of new data becomes available, raising questions about how it should be handled (and potentially monetized).

The wealth of data that the IOT generates can be used for a wide range of different purposes – everything from controlling robots on a factory floor to tracking and monitoring perishable goods in logistics on a global scale by the creation of Digital Twins. As such, IoT and Cyber-Physical System are converging into one and the same concept. Data must be processed both in the cloud and close to where it is produced and consumed, driven by requirements for reliability, cost and performance. Compute and storage serves as a continuum from the cloud and data center across the network infrastructure to the machines and things. The network itself will become the perfect infrastructure for edge computing for all industries.

Ensuring trust in data integrity and reliability

Now that the IoT plays such a key role in the success of so many enterprises, securing data end-to-end has become a top requirement. While reliability and trust are key considerations in all IoT applications, they are of utmost importance in mission-critical applications such as the predictability of data delivery to robots.

I hope that this special IoT issue of Ericsson Technology Review provides you with valuable insights about the IoT-related opportunities available to your organization, along with ideas about how we can overcome the challenges ahead.

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Articles in the special IoT issue:

Driving transformation in the automotive and road transport ecosystem with 5G

Several automotive and transport services that require cellular connectivity are already in commercial operation today, and many more are on the horizon. At Ericsson, we believe that the best way to address the growing connectivity needs of this industry sector is through a common network solution, as opposed to taking a single-segment silo approach.

End-to-end Security Management for the IoT

Service providers that want to capitalize on IoT opportunities without taking undue risks need a security solution that provides continuous monitoring of threats, vulnerabilities, risks and compliance, along with automated remediation. We have developed an end-to-end IoT security and identity management architecture that delivers on all counts.

Distributed cloud: A key enabler of automotive and industry 4.0 use cases

Emerging use cases in the automotive industry – as well as in manufacturing industries where the first phases of the fourth industrial revolution are taking place – have created a variety of new requirements for networks and clouds. At Ericsson, we believe that distributed cloud is a key technology to support such use cases.

Boosting smart manufacturing with 5G wireless connectivity

5G wireless connectivity has been designed to enable the fully-connected factories of the future. The integration of 5G ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC) in the manufacturing process will accelerate the transformation of the manufacturing industry and make smart factories more efficient and productive than ever.

Key technology choices for optimal massive IoT devices

LTE-M and NB-IoT have enabled the introduction of a new generation of IoT devices that deliver on the promise of scalable, cost-effective massive IoT applications using LPWAN technology. However, a few key technology choices are necessary to create IoT devices that can support the multitude of existing and emerging massive IoT use cases.

5G-TSN integration meets networking requirements for industrial automation

Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) is becoming the standard Ethernet-based technology for converged networks of Industry 4.0. Future industrial automation will depend to a large extent on a combination of TSN features and 5G URLLC capabilities to provide deterministic connectivity end to end.