May 25, 2017

IoT Complications for MNO Business Units

Mobile operators, it would appear, remain captivated by connectivity solutions. Most recently, low-power technologies (e.g. LoRA, NB-IoT, SigFox etc.) have dominated the industry agenda. This outlook is slowly starting to change. Ian Huh, SVP of SK Telecom’s (SKT) IoT business described fees on its LoRA network as amounting to just 10 per cent of those on 3G/4G networks [1]. He pointed out that this would need at least a tenfold increase in the number of connected devices in highlighting the potentially destructive impact on revenues.

SKT’s comments are timely and show that the debate is shifting from shiny new technology to earning commercial returns. MNOs need to do something, over and above the sale of SIMs and connectivity, to capitalize on the wider IoT business opportunity.

May 1, 2017

IoT and Smart-building opportunities

What are the important industry dynamics in the smart buildings sector and is there a role for the IoT? Last week, I attended the 6th Building Energy Summit [1] to hear from building owners, building operators, real-estate portfolio managers and corporate-sector tenants.

As in all other industrial sectors, much of the discussion highlighted the established processes and the conservative nature of this sector. Most notably, procurement and architectural design processes make it difficult to introduce truly innovative construction ideas into the sector. In existing buildings, the challenge is to introduce new technologies and working practices in a highly cost conscious environment. The sector is however becoming more technology-friendly and data driven in its decision making.

There is growing acceptance of the idea that IoT is the way to improve decision making and deliver innovative services. Among the IoT use cases discussed, successful projects typically received approval, after considerable financial scrutiny, and realized a return on investment within a period of 1-2 years.