As Principal Analyst for Enterprise Mobility and IoT at GlobalData, Kathryn is responsible for analyzing events, companies, products and technologies within the wireless enterprise services, IoT, and private wireless solutions space.
Over the past six months, IoT service providers in the US, Europe, and APAC have been busily disclosing new capabilities, with close to 30 announcements, not including customer wins.
Announcements ranged from news on acquisitions and investments to new and enhanced services, technology alliances, and vertical solutions.
New and Enhanced Services
New and enhanced services ranged from asset tracking improvements to expanded coverage, roaming alliances, managed services, wholesale expansion, and blockchain in conjunction with Internet of Things (IoT), edge alliances, and dynamic network access.
The Nokia Bell Labs and Equideum Health collaboration will leverage data generated from wearables and home health devices.
Analytics will be fundamental in aiding clinicians, pharmaceutical companies, and researchers to rapidly gain insight from the data as well as shorten clinical trial timelines.
In April 2022, Nokia Bell Labs and Equideum Health announced a partnership focused on empowering individuals to own and benefit from their personal health data. The collaboration will leverage the rapidly expanding datasets generated from wearables and other edge devices, including the growing set of in-home medical devices. The central premise is that while health data is increasing exponentially, no one has figured out a way to collect it, centralize it, and use it for near real-time meaningful insights. Edge computing, AI, ML, and blockchain technologies are now available to accomplish this by collecting and analyzing diverse data types from a wide variety of devices (e.g., wearables, sensors, smartphones, and video feeds). The partners also expect to empower a flood of innovation, without companies worrying about sharing proprietary information or individuals worrying about sharing their personal information without knowing who has access to it. Beneficiaries of this vision will include consumers, healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, researchers, institutions, medical device manufacturers, and potentially a slew of startups excited about access to reams of high quality, verifiable health data.
T-Mobile joins Zephyr Project as a platinum member to offer innovators a developer kit and partner resources to help them develop innovative applications/devices for its 5G network.
This builds on the 5G Forward initiative disclosed by the operator in March, which includes a new developer platform, DevEdge. What kinds of use cases is T-Mobile anticipating and will they give it a leg up in the enterprise?
When T-Mobile launched 5G Forward on March 23rd, it described initiatives designed to accelerate 5G developer innovation, including DevEdge, a new developer platform; the Tech Experience 5G Hub, a state-of-the-art innovation center; new T-Mobile Accelerator participants; venture funding for two companies (SignalWire and Spectro Cloud); and strategic partnerships with Disney StudioLAB and Red Bull to develop 5G-powered experiences for fans. T-Mobile claims that wireless developers run into “carrier barriers,” including the need to navigate a maze of hoops and hurdles with limited support, inaccessible experts, unclear pricing, drawn-out certification processes, and limited coverage from rivals’ 5G networks. DevEdge promises easy connection of any device to T-Mobile’s network, pre-certified modules and chipsets, access to APIs and open-source projects, real-time collaboration, and a developer kit (free to the first 1,000 users) with access to data from T-Mobile’s LTE and, in the future, its 5G networks. The T-Mobile Accelerator already boasts a handful of partners, most of which are building consumer applications or devices such as augmented reality (AR) glasses. Spectro Cloud, however, is an enterprise management platform. Continue reading “T-Mobile US Joins Zephyr Project to Boost 5G Developer Innovation”→
For several years, enterprise mobility announcements such as new services, geographic expansion, new go-to-market strategies and alliances, new device types, and enhanced management platforms were few and far between.
This has changed with the advent of 5G and edge computing, massive IoT, mobile private networks, and devices and management services for ruggedized computers and wearables.
• GlobalData’s latest edge computing forecast provides an optimistic outlook for operators aiming to monetize recent investments in edge-related technology and services.
• Operator alliances in 2021 are aligned with edge investments, and include products and services from a broad ecosystem; they can extend telco capabilities, and lead to upselling opportunities for adjacent services.
The opportunity for operators that are making investments and forging alliances to leverage edge computing along with their 5G and fiber networks is expanding. Although much has been said about the dangers of striking partnerships with hyperscalers and SIs that may end up with the lion’s share of revenue, operators are discovering an assortment of advanced services and upsell opportunities by using edge as an enabler. GlobalData’s latest edge computing forecast) includes revenue forecasts for edge-related hardware, software, and services and reflects optimism about the ability of vendors and service providers to monetize investments in edge computing. Not only is there an opportunity for telcos to generate revenue directly from edge-related managed and professional services, but ultimately the service providers hope to draw enterprise customers that will be using edge resources to deploy advanced latency-sensitive applications, and offer them new IoT services, security and privacy enhancements, and end-to-end vertical solutions. Business customers can benefit from optimized workloads, using local or nearby computing and storage resources. They can save money on connections to remote clouds or data centers, secure private data, and take advantage of the high bandwidth and low latency enabled by operators’ 5G and fiber networks by using compute and storage resources at the edge of the operator network or on the customer premise.
• Microsoft and AWS were named “Very Strong” in GlobalData’s most recent Enterprise IoT Platform reportpublished in September 2021. In the last six months, both vendors announced several key platform enhancements.
• New tools for access control, edge computing, visualization, and digital twins improved these vendors’ IoT portfolios. Microsoft’s new role as a board member in the LoRa Alliance was also a significant ecosystem addition.
Enterprise IoT platforms transform data collected from devices and machines to help customers build applications that automate processes, improve products, and help business leaders make decisions. Once data is collected, the platform provides data storage, processing, management, and manipulation along with filtering and visualization options. The platform may send data to an edge computing device, public or private cloud, or remote data center for further processing and analytics. An enterprise IoT platform also provides tools for application enablement; elements may include visual application modelling, design tools, processing rules using business logic, security and access management, reporting, and real-time or historical analytics.
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives have become important marketing tools and proof points of credibility for enterprise IT and communication services providers. Providers also hope to leverage these initiatives as revenue generators.
While IoT contributes solutions to help with many ESG concerns, its role in measuring, monitoring, and control of environmental conditions and parameters is particularly relevant. IoT service providers should continue to develop and extend these capabilities to position themselves as worthy stewards of the planet.
ESG has never been as important as it is today, at a time when our health continues to be threatened by a global pandemic and the world faces drastic disruption due to climate change. Service providers that offer IoT solutions, as well as their network equipment and software vendor partners, are adding ESG messaging into many of their offerings, as each is intent on proving its worth as contributors to the common good. While the ‘S’ and ‘G’ aspects of solutions are extremely important, the environmental contributions should be especially key to the positioning of service providers that may still struggle to monetize their IoT portfolios. This is because measuring, monitoring, and control of environmental parameters have always comprised a key benefit and use-case driver for IoT. Some of the many types of IoT use cases that contribute to environmental ‘health’ include: Continue reading “IoT and Environmental Sustainability Can Come Together to Protect the Planet”→
The role of IT services providers in offering IoT solutions to enterprises is important for delivering successful engagements that might otherwise have been thwarted by ecosystem fragmentation and complexity.
GlobalData’s August 2021 report on IT service provider IoT solutions highlights vendors that have developed unique portfolios and end-to-end solutions that can break through enterprise skepticism and reduce worry.
The fragmentation of the supplier ecosystem has long been a barrier to adoption of IoT, as enterprises are often confused, frustrated, and worried about having to separately negotiate, pay for, and manage connectivity, devices, security solutions, management platforms, and vertical solutions from multiple suppliers. The central role of IT services providers (ITSPs) in making IoT and other complex technologies easier to use while simultaneously helping to solve business problems is to offer a one-stop shop. This approach combines the ITSP’s own and third-party partner solutions, while adding advisory, integration, professional and managed services, and end-to-end vertical solutions. Continue reading “IT Service Providers Play a Key Role in Ensuring Successful IoT Deployments”→
IIoT MVNOs have struggled in recent years due to a reliance on connectivity-led portfolios while large mobile operators have had a stronger focus on directly selling their own enterprise IoT solutions.
Those MVNOs that remain and thrive have revamped offerings in order to stay relevant, drawing customers with application enablement, vertical solutions, management platforms, and professional and managed services.
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) play an important role in expanding the reach of enterprises looking to connect diverse devices on a global basis, primarily via cellular technologies. They can expand mobile or fixed operators’ footprints as a partner or sell directly to OEMs and enterprises that need widespread, easy-to-use connectivity. Whether they partner with operators or compete directly against them depends on whether customers need seamless connectivity in regions where a single carrier cannot provide service. They also may partner with satellite providers or have their own satellite connectivity services – ideal for markets where cellular service is spotty or unavailable such as maritime environments. Continue reading “Are IIoT MVNOs Still Relevant?”→