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Streamlining Connectivity Will Be Critical to the IoT's Success

As Internet of Things devices propel the world into uncharted territory, a single software platform, control panel and set of integration tools can provide the seamless connectivity crucial to a product's success.
By Francis Menassa
Aug 14, 2019

Connectivity, more often associated with android devices and iPhones, is on the cusp of a revolution. With the advent of 5G and the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), every electronic device, from refrigerators to cars, has the potential to be connected to the internet. In fact, according to Statista, a business data platform, the total installed base of IoT-connected devices is projected to amount to $75.44 billion worldwide by 2025, a fivefold increase in ten years.

Meanwhile, a Cisco report forecasts that 5G traffic will be 12 percent of the total mobile traffic even by 2022. With these projections, there is no doubt there will be a meteoric rise in business opportunities via the IoT. The driver behind this growth, 5G, is the next generation of cellular technology, the latest in the series of wireless cellular networks that have been around since the 1980s. Offering faster speeds and more reliable connections, 5G is completely datacentric and designed for a fully connected world.

With enhanced network edge capabilities, data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, 5G will create a host of new revenue opportunities for providers, Cisco predicts; autonomous cars, virtual reality and robotics are potentially accessible to all. While autonomous cars are still some way off, it is likely that we will soon see many more electrical products with a cellular component. In fact, there are some fully connected products, such as smart watches, that already include cellular connectivity among their features.

For example, the Coolpad Dyno Smartwatch is the first in a series of family-oriented connected products from Coolpad. It is intended ostensibly to keep children safe and can be used if you have a young child and want to track his or her location. With the Dyno Smartwatch, Parents can set "safe zones" with virtual perimeter alerts and communicate via voice and text messages. If a child is in a car with another carer, the smart watch can alert his or her parent if that vehicle is traveling above the legal speed limit.

Yet There Are Challenges
Launching and scaling global cellular-connected products is a complex process. There are multiple network carriers worldwide working under different IT architectures and many manufacturers do not fully understand how to navigate their way within these cellular networks; ensuring seamless connectivity is essential for any product to work. Plus, they also need to be certified and fully compliant with security standards.

Even if a new product, such as a smart watch or a burglar alarm, is ready to launch, negotiating tariffs with each separate country is difficult. Added to that, organizing customer support on an international basis can seem like an insurmountable challenge.

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