Dazed and Confused by IoT Platforms? Help Is on the Horizon, but Buyer Beware

I. Grant

Summary Bullets:

  • The IoT M2M Council aims to provide model RFPs and a guide to potential IoT platform vendors.
  • ‘Paying to play’ raises questions over the true value of ‘independent’ platform reports.

Anyone who has to choose a software platform for their company’s grand IoT project should be relieved to know that help is nearly at hand. The London-based IoT M2M Council (IMC) is crowdsourcing from among its members a suite of ‘open source’ RFPs for companies that have to select IoT software platforms. It will also report on how different platforms stack up against the criteria in the model RFPs. IoT buyers will be able to use the RFPs as a template for procurement and the reports to short-list potential suppliers. Read more of this post

Vested Interests Are Delaying the Formation of Critical Mass in the IoT Market

I. Grant

I. Grant

Summary Bullets:

  • The cellular industry is scrambling to catch up with LPWA providers, but its solutions are not yet fit for purpose.
  • The jury (a.k.a. software developers and customers) is still out as technology vendors pursue their own agendas.

Leading figures in the LTE supply chain, including chip makers, device makers, equipment vendors and even operators, are following their own agendas. This is creating a kaleidoscopic picture of the IoT wireless access market that inhibits investment.

Driven by the fear of missing out, the cellular phone industry is fighting to get back on terms with suppliers of proprietary low-power, wide-area (LPWA) network access technologies for machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Anyone who needs networks to provide low-cost access and operation to justify their IoT deployments should have regard for the claims and counterclaims made by the various parties. While there is some truth in all the claims, by no means is it the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Read more of this post

Brexit? Keep Calm and Carry On, But Guard Your Wallet

I. Grant

I. Grant

Summary Bullets:

• Brexit, if it happens, will take longer than anyone thinks, so don’t panic.

• UK users should prepare for price increases and slower network builds as hedged contracts mature and investment slows.

Two weeks on from the unprecedented decision to quit the EU, a couple of things are clear. As far as the regulatory regime that govern telco behaviour goes, it is business as usual – Brexit talks, if and when they start, will take two years, so regulations like Roam like at Home will come into force from June 2017. Enterprise users can simply carry on. Read more of this post

The Sobering Reality of Unlicensed Spectrum Use is Likely to Give CSPs an IoT Hangover

I. Grant

I. Grant

Summary Bullets:

• IT, not communications service providers, are customers’ preferred partners in both enterprise and municipal IoT projects.

• Operators have to expand their skills base and business models to cope with the widespread use of unlicensed spectrum and to stay relevant.

A new Current Analysis report on enterprise IoT has some sobering news for mobile operators that hope to cash in on the hype around IoT. What’s more, the CA findings are backed by the Global Mobile Suppliers Association, which has just published a report on telecoms in smart cities. Read more of this post

The Embedded SIM: How It Is Making the Customer King

I. Grant

I. Grant

Summary Bullets:

  • The long-term nature of industrial IoT connectivity is forcing carriers to consider the lifetime value of customers and adapt their pricing accordingly.
  • Enterprises are using ‘network unaffiliated virtual operators’ (NUVOs) to disintermediate MNOs and cut costs, and new SIM technology is helping NUVOs to optimize coverage for their customers.

As cloud and IoT become the dominant models for ICT, it is increasingly obvious that the networks are only a means to customers’ ends. Big beasts though they are, telcos are merely part of an ecosystem that supports customers. As such, the lifetime value of a customer who stays inside a telco’s ecosystem is higher than the one who churns after his two-year smartphone contract ends. Smart telcos are changing their business models to reflect this. Read more of this post

Tele2 Hopes to Awe Customers with Virtual Magic, but This Might Not Be Enough

I. Grant

I. Grant

Summary Bullets:

  • Customers should insist operators explain new technology in terms of what they care about.
  • Virtualizing network infrastructure makes it harder to charge extra for mobility support.

Arthur C. Clarke once said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. When it comes to telecommunications, most end users like to keep it that way. Rightly, they care most about what it can do for them, not how it works. Read more of this post

MWC16: Be Careful What You Wish For

Summary Bullets:

• The security versus privacy security is a growing threat to mobile operators, so they need to enter the debate to ensure customers continue to trust them.

• Success may be an even more pernicious problem, but the industry is showing its mettle in finding solutions.

As you read this, the madness and mayhem of MWC16 is winding down. But one of the key debates that will shape the future of the industry was taking place in the US between Apple, Google and Facebook, and the FBI. The issue is the balance between public security and personal privacy. Read more of this post

MWC16 May Reveal that IoT Will Upset the Industry’s Balance of Power

Summary Bullets:

• The sharing economy plus IoT is changing the balance of power between telcos and their suppliers

• CSPs may be powerless to stop themselves from being marginalized.

There are two big questions hanging over Mobile World Congress 2016, which opens in Barcelona in a couple of weeks. The first is about who will win the scramble for account control in the Internet of Things. The second is about the industry’s balance of power as firms test the limits of the rented/shared asset ownership model.
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Looking for Wood Among the M2M Trees

Summary Bullets:

  • For CIOs, the hype around M2M is irrelevant to the value they can get from it.
  • If they can cost-justify a use case now, they should just do it; telcos need volume to drive prices even lower.

IoT has struggled to become pervasive because there is a mismatch between the longevity and cost of the communicating device and the application it serves, and the value they create. Since silicon can last forever, the secret is to increase the number of chips and applications in service. So when they talk to their telco suppliers about M2M applications, CIOs need to bear in mind the cost/volume/profit (CVP) relationship, and seek to maximize the value they can create. Read more of this post

Why the VW Scandal Should Give All Managers Sleepless Nights

Summary Bullets:
• You can’t believe the machine
• You have to secure the whole product chain

Just when the automotive industry thought things couldn’t get worse, they did: weeks after a Jeep Cherokee was hacked, Volkswagen admitted to installing software to defraud regulators. The two incidents have put security on the agenda – big time – for every manager who thought automation was the answer.
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