In the Networked Society, every person and every industry will be empowered to reach their full potential. By delivering machine-to-machine (M2M) and machine-to-person communications on a massive scale, IoT technology is a key enabler of this vision.
For IoT applications, existing cellular networks offer distinct advantages over alternative wide area network (WAN) technologies, such as unlicensed low power wide area (LPWA). The global reach, QoS, ecosystem, TCO, scalability, diversity and security of cellular networks are all vital factors that can support the fast uptake and success of IoT.
3GPP standardization work for GSM and LTE, and the recent addition of NB-IoT, is further improving the ability of cellular networks to address the Massive IoT market, where ultra-low end-to-end cost is a prerequisite. Cellular networks will therefore be in an even stronger position to meet the following key challenges identified for the Massive IoT market:
- reduced device complexity and cost
- long battery life (more than 10 years)
- extended coverage (15-20dB)
- low-entry investment
- support for a huge number of devices.
Whether operators choose the GSM, NB-IoT or LTE-M track – or a combination of these – they have a huge opportunity to benefit from the emerging IoT revolution. Operators can choose to continue offering telecom-grade connectivity as they do today, or they can evolve to become a platform or fully-fledged IoT service provider targeting a larger slice of future IoT revenues.