The Internet of Things (IoT) has matured to support the telecom industry by becoming an integral part of concepts like self-driving vehicles and industrial IoT. The Telecom industry, in fact, is amongst the biggest players in the IoT.
The use of IoT in telecom already impacts the communication between devices and humans. Users experience extraordinary user interfaces, as telecom is revolutionizing services, inventory, network segmentation, and operations. The telecom industry is nowhere stopping reliance on IoT.
The further expansion of IoT allows telecom to deliver revenue generation & customer retention solutions. By 2026, telecom is expecting a good $1.8 trillion revenue using IoT services.
The beginning was drastically witnessed in 2020. Further, major IoT trends, right from edge computing to 5G and expanding network footprints are all prepared to influence telecom in 2021, and ahead.
Global IoT Trends that Impacts Telecom Sector in 2021
Here are some global IoT trends that are going to influence the telecom sector this year, and even after.
1. IoT Data Streaming Amalgamates with ‘Big Data’
Operators in telecom have access to rich insights already. However, analyzing & managing data in action is challenging. Streaming analytics allows pre-processed data to be transmitted in real-time. (DataStream means incessant, regularly updated, and relevant flow of data in real-time).
- For example, critical IoT data, including hardware sensor information & IoT devices. Such enormous data require dealing with complex algorithms. Using the stream processing tools, it becomes easier to manage such colossal complicated data.
Data Stream Processing tools that can help:
- Apache tools (Kafka, Spark)
- Amazon tools (Amazon Kinesis, Kinesis Streams, Kinesis Firehose)
It is critical to integrate IoT data streams into Big Data Analytics. The reason? It is significant to pre-process numerous data flows in real-time. It helps to keep data streams up-to-date while accelerating data quality stored in the cloud. Faster data processing at the edge can also be expected.
Why is streaming analytics even needed?
Analytics uncover potential glitches/anomalies in behavior patterns assembled using IoT sensors. It minimizes the negative impact of the events that happened.
(Note: Anomalies in the telecom business are unusual data patterns in a complicated environment. If left unaddressed, it causes massive chaos).
The big data in the 5G IoT ecosystem (spawned either by Machine-to-Machine communication or Internet of Things devices) is only going to increase exponentially in the future. That calls for data stream processing in real-time to better automate the decision-making process.
Such deep data processing implemented at the edge then sent to the cloud:
- Improves quality of data
- Enhances safety & security immensely
Hence data streaming analytics is essential for the telecom industry to grow.
2. IoT Network (5G Empowered)
5G’s impact on the industry is still fresh. In 2021 and ahead, the 5G technology will remain in action. New categories of modems, gadgets, and modems are expected. That is going to be excellent for improving data transmission speed.
The cross-industry opportunities (generated with 5G) are even concentrating to mature smart concepts like smart city and Industry 4.0 or the Fourth Industrial Revolution (where both IoT and M2M communication plays a significant role to enhance communication via smart machines & devices that identifies issues in processes without the human intrusion).
The potential of that happening relies majorly on 5G rather than not-so-efficient traditional networks. Here’s what the telecom industry can expect:
- 100x Faster Network Speed – IoT enjoys speedier data transfer from IoT-connected devices and sensors with a maximum speed of 10 Gbps.
- Excellent Bandwidth – Telecom seamlessly manages sudden spikes besides network congestion using 5G Radio Access Network architecture. Hence, a more stable connection.
- Exclusive Capacity – Multiple connected devices communicate & transfer data in real-time. 5G enabled IoT network reaches its full potential delivering 1K times the higher capacity.
- Excessively Reduced Latency – In an IoT environment that is 5G enabled, telecom can expect just 5 milliseconds to transfer data. That’s what the industry requires to maintain devices, remote control in real-time, and effective M2M communication.
5G mass adoption is already observed by multiple MNOs like AT&T and Verizon. They rely on advanced 5G technologies (CAT-M1 & NB-IoT) to enable huge Internet of Things to connect with devices, which are cost-effective and less complex and support extensive battery life and minimum throughput.
Cellular IoT fragments that leverage 5G capabilities:
LTE-M or Long-Term Evolution for Machines, which is an LTE upgrade:
- Supports low complex CAT-M devices.
- Improved battery life
NB-IoT or Narrowband IoT is a Machine-To-Machine focused Radio Access Technology (RAT) that enables huge IoT rollouts. It ensures last-mile connectivity using its extensive-range communication at low power. Narrowband IoT radio modules are highly cost-effective, without needing additional gateways or routers. Hence, simplifying IoT arrangements.
Use Cases of NB-IoT:
- Monitoring street lights, complete waste management, and remote parking. It initiates complete Smart City Management.
- Seamlessly tracking all sorts of pollution, including water, land, and air for upkeeping the environment’s health.
- Scrutinizing alarm systems, air conditioning, and complete ventilation system.
Many have already rolled out both NB-IoT and LTE-M, forecasting 52% of all cellular IoT connections by 2025. As per Enterprise IoT Insights, in the next four years, IoT networks (enabled by 5G) will massively increase by 1400%, which was 500 million last year will grow to 8 billion by 2024.
Telecom will go beyond where they currently are. What’s stopping IoT connectivity monetization is an excessive competition that deploys a pool of connectivity solutions at cheaper rates. Hence, there is a dire need of going beyond what’s existing in terms of monetization models.
3. Nurturing Telecom Infrastructure (and Software)
Telecom has to modify the existing infrastructure, to harmonize with advanced IoT devices. Without it, the industry might have to deal with compatibility concerns. Here’s what needs to be done:
- Upkeep Safety Hazards: Extreme weather, natural disaster, fire, or any other damage are bound to happen. The telecom equipment experiences the aftereffect of such events. What preventive measures are telecom considering to secure the equipment? That’s when IoT steps in. The much-needed compatibility between telecom infrastructure and IoT plays a significant role in saving equipment during such events. Another concern that’s prevailing in telecom is cybersecurity. Advanced technology like blockchain will certainly help combat this concern, improving the efficiency of IoT management platforms.
- Developing IoT Solutions Compatible with Existing Software: Telecom firms need to comprehend how existing software will match the demands of new IoT. New IoT technologies and devices are already in the market. The industry just needs to figure out how current software suits the advanced demands of IoT.
- Secure Resources & Equipment: The telecommunication industry relies on different resources, like fuel to keep up the constant supply of power. These resources might be the point of attraction for stealers. Telecom needs to secure its physical equipment and resources so that the chances of theft are minimal. The effective solution is to install IoT-smart cameras that ascertain the existence of any such external interference. Telecoms need to improve their existing security protocols to secure resources & equipment.
4. Artificial Internet of Things
Another major global trend of 2021 is Artificial IoT that’s all set to make networks and IoT systems more intellectual. How that’s going to be good for telecom is by using such cognitive systems for making decisions more context and experience-based. The entire reliance, however, is on the processes data from IoT-connected devices and sensors. The entire decision-making (related to network concerns & finding apt solutions) will be automated.
AI is highly integrated into IoT via devices, chipsets, and edge computing systems. Even 5G network functions and concerning anomalies will be automated. In fact, numerous Data Analytics & Machine Learning empowered anomaly detection tools already prevail in the market.
How is telecom impacted when the Artificial Internet of Things integrates with predictive analytics?
- It generates prediction models along with real-time data analytics to identify errors or anomalies in the network. Further, it also enables complete remote monitoring & management of the assets.
- Remote access, theft exposure, and fraud examination can be experienced with solutions that have Artificial Intelligence amalgamated with IoT.
- When Artificial Intelligence is deployed at the network edge, the data streams are not interrupted. Data is analyzed and stored, without disturbing data streams.
5. Data Drives the Extension
Humans are inclined towards smart gadgets and devices nationwide. Telecoms enjoy the ease of communicating with each other using IoT devices. From controlling gigantic machinery to scrutinizing big data, everything happens with utmost ease due to the availability of IoT devices.
Telecom has to be accredited for transforming us into IoT technology users. Also, IoT is no sooner reducing its impact on the telecom industry. Internet of Things, in fact, is ready to expand the telecom industry for many years from now.
Customers are hungry for improved and quality connectivity. They desire to stay connected to the world outside, and how good that experience will depend on how efficient telecom products & services are. That’s what will drive expansion in this industry – the quality of connectivity delivered.
‘Alexa’ is the best example to prove the convenience that customers want to use the technology and IoT connected devices integrated with AI. Another example could be ‘Amazon drones’ that seamlessly deliver at home.
The Verdict: Future of Telecom Positively Has Influence of IoT
The Internet of Things and the telecom industry truly complement each other. The emerging IoT technologies like Big data and 5G helps telecom access tap remarkable benefits, including an upgrade in technology and network.
The industry is centering on expanding expertise in technologies & IoT connectivity monetization. IoT is mature enough to backup telecom and transforms it into the biggest market nationwide.