Issue 4, 2015

- Rowan Högman

So begins one of the more famous lines in English literature. But perhaps not even the prodigal imagination of Shakespeare conceived a world in which so many things – objects, people and nature – would be connected.

Like any transformative concept, however, the Internet of Things (IoT) raises a question or two. For instance, is the buzz actually translating into business? In an exclusive interview, we put Hans Dahlberg, Vice President of Global IoT Services at TeliaSonera, on the spot – and learn that the IoT is not just opening up entire industries to operators, but shattering a few paradigms along the way.

Next, Afif Osseiran, Joachim Sachs and Marzio Puleri look at what happens when the IoT goes industrial. They uncover a series of intriguing use cases and suggest what these might mean for mobile communications networks, before identifying some potential business models and associated success factors. As a bonus, they bring in some robots, too.

Rounding off our IoT discussion is Omar Valdez-De-Leon, who says the IoT will be a battle between ecosystems, not between individual companies. He argues that building a successful ecosystem requires operators to manage three key levers – and cautions that potential partners will need attracting, supporting and delighting as much as any consumer.

Elsewhere in this issue, Eleanor Flanagan and Kim Koontz Bayliss examine a serious case of continental drift. Following the recent nullification of the US-EU Safe Harbor agreement, they evaluate the key divergences (and convergences) in ICT policymaking on both sides of the Atlantic, before suggesting that both parties may even be able to learn from the other.

Finally, Frédéric Pujol, Kenneth Wallstedt and Wassim Chourbaji come right out and say it – Europe is taking a back-seat in the mobile communication race. In a comprehensive situation analysis, they show that focusing on prices is a short-sighted regulatory strategy, and explain that Europe’s unique attributes could actually hold the key to seizing global mobile leadership.

Back to Shakespeare, he goes on to write that we know what we are, but know not what we may be. Despite what we often tell ourselves, that sums up the IoT – and indeed, ICT as a whole – remarkably well. But if we have ambitions to understand things a little better, or even to shape the future in a positive way, asking the right questions is a good place to start. And this, of course, is what Ericsson Business Review is all about.