Poor connectivity disrupts IoT rollouts, finds Inmarsat

Poor connectivity disrupts IoT rollouts, finds Inmarsat

23 November 2021 | Natalie Bannerman

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Research by Inmarsat has found that despite the accelerating speed of Internet of Things (IoT) adoption during the Covid-19 pandemic, poor or unreliable connectivity is a key barrier.

According to the report entitled, Industrial IoT in the Time of Covid-19, these barriers in connectivity have been found to limit the success of IoT projects for most organisations.

Further the research found that 75% of all businesses experience connectivity challenges when trialling IoT projects and don’t feel that public terrestrial networks are suitable for their IoT needs.

“With three-quarters of our research respondents experiencing connectivity issues when trialling IoT projects, it is clear many businesses need to overcome these challenges to maximise their return on investment," said Mike Carter, president of Inmarsat Enterprise.

"The fact that they also cite the limitations of public terrestrial networks as a barrier to the success of their IoT projects highlights the importance of reliable, secure and responsive connectivity for delivering the actionable, timely data they need to achieve their IoT ambitions. Dependable, flexible satellite communications play a key role in enabling IoT for businesses, allowing data to be collected, stored, and analysed from anywhere on the planet, including far-flung sites well out of reach of terrestrial connectivity.

Other findings include reliability (47%), security (42%) and network coverage (38%) as respondent's top priorities. Geographically, reliability of IoT connectivity is even more pronounced in Latin America (56%) as well as Russia and the Stans (65%). None of the respondents in either region said public terrestrial networks were completely suitable for their IoT needs.

“Businesses are increasingly appreciating that data collected in the remotest areas is often the most valuable, as business-critical activities happen there. Whether running a remote farm in Brazil, a mining facility in Western Australia, or an oil well in the Arabian desert, there need not be holes in an organisation’s visibility of its operations," added Carter.

"Inmarsat Enterprise focuses on providing IoT connectivity to business-critical applications in remote places, via our highly reliable L-band network, ELERA. As the world’s leading provider of global, mobile satellite communications with the widest, most expert partner network globally, we work closely with our customers to help them achieve the most reliable, cost-effective, and efficient mix of different IoT connectivity types."

Additionally, only 37% of all organisations use some form of backup connectivity to continue collecting IoT data in remote areas away from terrestrial communications. Geographically, this amounts to 10% of Latin American organisations and 25% of businesses in Russia and the Stans

Lastly, 80% of respondents said that since solving their IoT connectivity challenges they have greater success with their IoT projects. While 76% agree that satellite connectivity provides critical support to their organisation’s IoT communication networks.

“In addition, to produce highly accurate, near real time ‘digital twins’ of their global supply chains, businesses need to work with trusted connectivity partners to develop the most suitable IoT connectivity strategies," said Carter.

"Inmarsat ELERA is ideally suited for the billions of new IoT devices and sensors that are being connected every year. It has been designed for those businesses looking to accelerate and improve their IoT deployments, enabling organisations from all sectors to access IoT anywhere.”