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IoT in Telecommunications: Challenges, Opportunities, Benefits & The Future

The rise of IoT has offered telecom operators another chance to spring into action. If the telecom industry makes the most of IoT, availing the USP that edge computing and 5G offers them, they can have huge potential profits of more than $600 billion by 2022, as per Accenture.

Connectivity Decides the Telcos Success Ahead

They excellently use the IoT services backed up by amazing connectivity. The telecommunication industry needs to invest in its strong core - Connectivity - to gain the higher IoT value stack. However, that is to be figured out how exactly the industry is going to advantage from IoT utilization. 

Read on to understand how the telecom industry utilizes IoT to meet its business needs. Also, we’ll see what’s in the future for telecom operators when utilizing IoT efficiently. 

IoT in Telecommunications delivers higher safety at remote sites, better equipment monitoring, and more logical business analytics. 

Existing Challenges Faced when Implemented IoT in Telecommunications

The Internet of Things is at a tipping point - on one side the progressing technology has made manufacturing smart devices easier than ever before (imperative for the business community). On the other side, there are some unavoidable challenges that businesses have to face when implementing IoT in the telecom industry. 

The challenges faced by the industry are related to power supply, progressing architecture, IoT complexities, privacy, and enabling complex sensing circumstances. 

These challenges are still repairable with the help of different wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Bluetooth, and Near-field Communication (NFC). Besides, the existing Wi-Fi networks need to be improved to gain a larger coverage. 

Moreover, it is essential to be knowledgeable about the confirmation of the communication pathway of the Internet of Things to further understand how information is exchanged within the IoT. The Internet of Things relies on different protocols and techniques to disperse information. Majorly, telcos need the support of Device-to-Server, Device-to-Device, and Server-to-Server communication systems to share the information within the Internet of Things

However, even after settling all these challenges, telcos face other major challenges, which are as below:

  • Improved Performance, Availability, Higher Reliability, Complete Privacy, Absolute Scalability, Interoperability, Compatibility, Extensive Security, Investment, Mobility, and Big IoT Data.

1. AVAILABILITY 

Usually, IoT is utilized to facilitate information anywhere at any time. It depends on what the user requests. Availability, therefore, is a critical issue for the IoT, it requires the high availability guarantee of all the physician devices used. Even IoT apps need to be highly available. The solution to this issue is to maintain the programs and hardware devices that are not in use so that they can be used to balance the load when a failure occurs.  

Generally, these devices or hardware are redundant, even though it increases the complexity of the entire process. Hence, to achieve availability, the best solution is to use these redundant devices. 

The redundancy is of two types:

  • Active (Doesn’t perform up to the mark)
  • Passive (Activated when primary components fail; sleeps at other times)

IoT involves the usage of multiple technologies. Hence, its performance can’t be judged by just using a single device. IoT’s performance is even dependent on some other factors:

✅ Huge Amount of Data

✅ Extreme Reliance on Cloud

✅ Network Traffic 

Telcos need to figure out how to overcome these challenges of bringing IoT in Telecommunications so that they can deliver the required availability to the users. 

2. RELIABILITY 

Another important aspect of IoT in Telecommunications in the future and even now is to offer apt reliability to the users. And, it won’t come just by sending reliable information, but by adapting to the progressing environmental conditions. No matter what aspect of IoT you are dealing with (hardware or software), there should be guaranteed reliability. 

3. PRIVACY & SECURITY 

Another challenge for IoT in Telecommunications is to maintain the utmost security and privacy. The limited storage capacity of memory cards in IoT allows only small amounts of data to be stored. The remaining data is stored on other sites remotely. In the latter, users are not very comfortable with disclosing their information to others. Hence, telcos need to secure this data for maintaining the privacy of the users. 

Privacy, trusted communication, digital forging are rarely addressed issues in the IoT. Since security has become a major concern when it comes to users' data, IoT’s non-reliance on common security standards and architecture poses a big challenge for telcos to maintain utmost secrecy for the same. 

4. INTEROPERABILITY 

In IoT, different devices are connected. Hence, interoperability is a necessity, irrespective of the device type. IoT in Telecommunications must deliver services equally to all the devices connected. This challenge can be overcome by adhering to standardized protocols. Ambiguous interpretations of the same protocol make it tough to achieve interoperability. However, if these ambiguities are avoided, interoperability can be achieved in IoT. 

5. BIG IoT DATA 

IoT, indeed, is one of the major sources of gathering huge data. The future of telecom involves connecting billions of devices. That eventually leads to creating extensive big data production. Managing this data (accessing, processing, and storing) needs highly scalable computing platforms, which does not have any impact on the performance of the app. And, that is a big challenge for telcos. 

6. COMPATIBILITY 

The IoT-based smart environment faces another challenge called Compatibility. Proper compatibility is to be maintained between different products that are constantly connected. Most of the devices misbehave and create compatibility concerns, as there is no availability of a universal language for these devices. Hence, different industries need to collaborate to deliver the utmost compatibility. Otherwise, the co compatibility issues will exist. 

Considering these challenges, there is a lot to be done with the implementation of IoT in telecom. However many of these concerns seem to have been sorted for the industry. 

Benefits IoT in Telecommunications 

Why IoT in Telecommunications? The Telecom industry is already leveraging the power of IoT, and the results can be experienced with excellent telecommunication services and products.

Here are some distinct ways IoT is leveraged by telcos:

  1. IoT allows telecom to track and trace all data and information provided to consumers. The information is generally regarding products and services offered to the customers. Telcos rely on this information to further identify any issues or glitches in the network and all the hindrances that are not allowing them to deliver the best communication services. 
  2. IoT in Telecommunications helps telcos conduct a performance evaluation of products. Once the products are deployed and data is collected using pre-integrated sensors, the performance of the telecommunication is checked. 
  3. Telecommunication industries can combat the challenge of maintaining security by installing IoT-powered beacons and cameras to deploy security.
  4. Better interfaces can be enjoyed by customers if  IoT-integrated telecom services help in creating a stronger connection with customers’ apps used on tabs and phones. 
  5. 5G in mobiles creates a smooth communication between autonomous vehicles via IoT-powered sensor fusions. IoT in Telecommunications is a must for a smoother communication system. 
  6. For better machine-to-machine communication, IoT blockchain systems can be highly utilized.
  7. IoT sensors allow telcos to monitor the device performance installed at various places, including factories, workstations, and warehouses.
  8. IoT in Telecommunications helps companies to build improved predictive analytics models, which assists in generating analytics that achieve expected results.
  9. With IoT in Telecommunications, companies can deliver improved location-based services by using the proximity sensors in the devices.  

IoT brings excellent benefits to telecom operators. But, as the IoT is still in its evolving stage, more issues need to be addressed and sorted out. Seamless communication is built when 

IoT in Telecommunications - The Accurate Utilization 

The telecom operators deliver a collection of services/ products using IoT to bring additional value to their already existing networks. 5G is maturing and the 4G to 5G transformation is still in progress. Amidst this progression, the added value to IoT becomes more valuable for Telecom companies. IoT in Telecommunications builds platforms for organizations to develop their own IoT services and products. 

The First Phase: Enhancing Connectivity 

Currently, telcos are in the best position to transform themselves for the better. Thanks to IoT in Telecommunications that offers reliable and safe connectivity nationwide. The future is about these telcos leaders customizing their technology assets to deliver connectivity platforms backed up by IoT.  Telcos will need highly reliable computing power to uncover the actual capabilities of modern IoT solutions.

The Second Phase: Building an Effective Ecosystem 

With IoT in Telecommunications, the future is about a better ecosystem - as the current telecommunication business model will vanish in the coming five years, ecosystem being the main factor why this change will be needed. However, telecom is amongst those industries that will still drive profits in the future through the ecosystem amalgamated with other valuable factors, including talent, technology, and business vision. 

Again, the focus will be on ‘connectivity’ even while building a better ecosystem for telcos. This ecosystem of partners will be to capture more lucrative opportunities. In short, to be a successful business in the future, telcos will have to first establish themselves as a genuine IoT provider and then partner up with other industry verticals to take advantage of their expertise. 

Once mastering the single verticals, should telcos proceed to co-creating complicated use cases that involve multiple verticals? The innovation and new value streams will be witnessed when these multiple verticals are created. 

Eventually, to become a reliable industry partner that manages multiple verticals, it is required to become a master of their innate strength, i.e. ‘the connectivity.’

The Ultimate Phase: Ruling IoT Readiness 

Becoming the ultimate master of IoT agility is the endmost path. To figure out the exponential value, the telecom industry will have to shift from mastering single verticals to co-partnering with multiple industries. 

  • Magnify Core Connectivity - To Win an IoT that is built on Trust

The key to bringing agility in work and mindset has to be developed. Stepping into a zone with faster-than-ever innovation cycles will need new and innovative methods of working. So, how do you fix those challenges and skill gaps to achieve steadiness in the business? Well, you will need to invest in modern technologies and quicker connectivity solutions to win the game. Besides, transfer your core expertise into an IoT business. 

  • Build Trust, Serve Single Verticals First 

Focus on gaining the trust of one industry at a time. Combine platform players and device manufacturers to build trust with your partners. Allow your partners to deliver enterprise-grade solutions while you deliver a secure and reliable IoT core network. That’s how you build trust amongst partners. 

  • Move to Multiple Verticals

The ultimate step is beyond connectivity. When you have mastered connectivity, become a matchmaker for industry players who want to monetize their data. It could even be a platform where developers and businesses connect. 

The Opportunities Companies can Leverage with IoT in Telecommunications

Telecoms can magnify the service area with multiple IoT-enabled services, like smart retail, smart homes, vehicle tracking, and much more. Telecommunication companies can build IoT platforms for their respective customers, allowing them to connect centralized control and devices to run essential IoT apps. Hence, with IoT in Telecommunications, these IoT-powered platforms need to be built using a modular architecture that features authentic APIs. 

What will this modular architecture featuring reliable APIs deliver?

  • Backend Solutions

The backend offered by the telecommunication companies, delivers the ability to store, manage, and process IoT- generated data. Using the back-end solutions, customers can easily integrate them into their already existing apps. 

  • Managed Connectivity Services 

Telcos support the IoT infrastructure of their customers by offering managed connectivity services that heavily rely on Narrowband IoT. The data generated by IoT devices is saved and managed on the customer’s side.  

  • Data Analytics Services 

To deliver customers the value from the data generated by IoT devices, telcos offer predictive, diagnostics, and prescriptive analytics services to their valued customers. 

  • IoT Data Storage Services

Business apps run on the customer side, hence, telcos take care of IoT-generated data by saving, storing, scanning, cleaning, and processing it for their customers. 

The IoT in the Telecommunications industry helps their customers get complete access to SaaS tools for solving their business problems - and the solutions delivered are quite problem-focused in a particular space. 

The Future of IoT in Telecommunications is Green

As new and innovative concepts are amalgamating with existing technologies, IoT still has the chance to grow. It is still evolving. The Green IoT has the potential to change the future environment, which will be more green, healthy, and economical. We can expect green communication and networking, green IoT services, and green design and implementation in the future. 

Although telecom is facing certain challenges at the moment, with advancing IoT, it seems to be vanishing soon, allowing telecom to focus clearly on maintaining and building better ‘connectivity’ to impress the end-users. 

Telecom, be ready for;

1. IoT-Based Smart Environments

  • Smart buildings, smart cities, smart health, smart agriculture, smart homes, smart industries, and smart transport. 

The usage of IoT with a smart environment gives amazing opportunities to telecom:

  • Real-time information 
  • New and innovative business models
  • Smart Operations
  • Flexible, secure, cost-effective cloud-based apps

2. Green IoT

The increasing awareness of all environmental concerns nationwide has led to the introduction of Green IoT. It included using technologies that help in building a healthy IoT environment. The aim is to help users collect, store, and access information using the storage and facilities available.

Conclusion:

IoT in Telecommunications is a boon for industries operating in this sector. However, it is high time to beat the existing and ongoing telecoms challenges and concerns. IoT in telecommunication can help expand and reach out for more innovative solutions to gain that competitive advantage in the market. 

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