The next BIG thing in mobile?

Just three years ago the ITW community raised the question: how do we imagine the carrier world in 2020?

Just three years ago the ITW community raised the question: how do we imagine the carrier world in 2020?

We projected our collective imaginations into the future to try to build a vision of what the mega-connected world might look like in our daily lives – as consumers, in the workplace and in industry.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is already happening! With an estimated 25 billion connected objects by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020*, the IoT is revolutionising health, education, industry, domestic appliances and transport, and will continue to do so. Will this connected world of the future be powered and enabled by wholesale carriers?

The IoT will extend beyond traditional boundaries. This will mean that the mobile data needed to make the connections happen will increase 100-fold. Interestingly, governments are also anticipating these needs and indeed the benefits they can draw from the new IoT world. South Korea, for example, has announced an investment of $1.5 billion in the development of 5G, with the aim of having mobile traffic run at speeds 1,000 times higher than the speeds currently available through 4G**. Their claim? In a few years time, as we move into an increasingly collaborative era, technological performance and speed will be a competitive advantage.

As more devices are added into communication networks, ubiquitous, high-performance, robust and more eco-friendly networks will be needed. This represents a huge source of potential growth for carriers over the coming years. It is estimated that the IoT will generate some $300 billion in revenue by 2020***, with multiple players seeking their share. An IoT ecosystem enables the transformation of data into actionable information; analytics are still in the early stages of the development of IoT and most leading mobile operators are investing heavily in this area.

The exponential development of IoT – including the increasing digitisation and automation of a multitude of devices and services deployed across all industries – will of course come with a number of challenges for all players within the ecosystem: security and privacy of confidential data; storage management; server technologies; catering for international capacity; and the development of existing and new technologies.

The IoT will lead to a more efficient, prosperous and productive connected world. Let’s continue to invest in innovation to reinvent models that enable us to reach new heights in delivering sustainability, robustness, reach and quality for network-based demands.

Players in the IoT ecosystem have their finger on the pulse of the next big thing in mobile. Carriers will be the smart power in driving the next wave of global innovation towards a mega-connected world!

* Ericsson – in developed countries

** Le Figaro reporting from GSM 2014 – Feb 14

*** Gartner

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