IoT is 'next big opportunity' in SMS, Capacity conference hears

30 November 2016 | James Pearce


The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the next big opportunities for the SMS messaging market, according to an expert panel at this year’s Messaging and SMS World.

The opening session of the event, now in its third year, was chaired by Analysys Mason research director Stephen Sale and featured speakers from Vodafone Carrier Services, Iproov and Nexmo. The panellists were asked to discuss the future outlook of the SMS and messaging market.
 
Answering a question from Sale around what opportunity the speakers would bet on in the SMS market, both Vodafone SVP Andrew McGrath and Nexmo president Tony Jamous both pointed to IoT.
 
“SMS is reinventing itself as the communications tool of choice for new trends such as the Internet of Things,” said McGrath.
 
“We’re seeing SMS driven from surprising places. One of the vastly growing areas in the industry at the moment is IoT. Everything being connected, and a lot of those connections are over internet, but for many applications the communication mechanism between the transponders and the databases is happening over SMS as well.”

Jamous agreed, saying IoT offers a big use case for SMS messaging through either an A2P platform, or sending messages to IoT devices. He gave an example of a connected car, which Nexmo has worked on, in which their system messages the car to activate certain IoT services. Because messaging only requires a low level network, it is much more reliable, he adds.

“I agree about IoT. Most IoT applications don’t require a heavy data load as they transport small bits of data at a low frequency. This is where SMS becomes super cost-effective, because you don’t need these super-advanced 5G modems embedded in the devices.

“One of our customers uses SMS to wake up the M2M modem in the car, so they can use more advanced M2M functions. So it works for signalling the car.”