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Monday, 16 November 2020 09:19

Driving growth in IoT

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Next week I'll be hosting GCF's 5G MENA conference - an event that I've organised on behalf of client, Global Certification Forum (GCF), for the last 3 years. Normally held in Dubai, this year it's online.  It's proving to be a popular event with a very wide and diverse range of speakers from across the mobile industry. We'll be talking about 5G and its path forward and how related technologies such as AI, IoT and cloud can take advantage of 5G to help deliver new services.  It's all exciting stuff - which is great.  However in reviewing the state of the industry I came across a 2014 forecast from GSMA Intelligence 'Cellular M2M forecasts from 2010 - 2020'.  It's an interesting read - and their forecast (if you believe the numbers from the latest Ericsson Mobility report) of just under 2 billion cellular IoT connections by 2020 turned out to be relatively on the ball.  They also identify many potential initiatives that could aid growth (e.g. standardisation, government driven programs for e.g. smart meters, e-Call for (European) vehicles, lower cost modules).  One of the growth levers they identify is 'new operator business models' - but unfortunately this is the least developed part of the report.  Although there is reference to creating partnerships and the need to change operating models to serve business customers (and B2C and B2B2C) - there is little in the way of how to actually discover new use cases that can be turned into viable businesses - what objectives operators could set and what strategies could be realistically employed to help meet these objectives.  For example - what are the challenges in each sector (regulations, fragmentation, competition, other technologies)? How can these challenges be overcome?  How to organise a structured approach to finding and developing new opportunities?

I'm not seeking to criticise a historical piece of analysis (the forecast contained within it is indeed, relatively accurate) - but I am left wondering if the industry - and in particular mobile operators are really capitalising on IoT as much as they could.  When I see revenue figures of IoT contributing 1% of overall revenues (see my previous post) - it makes me wonder.  There's a lot of upside to be had if the right objectives are identified and appropriate strategies adopted.

Read 87471 times Last modified on Monday, 10 May 2021 09:27
Chris Hogg MBA

Chris Hogg is the founder of Evergreen Strategy Partners. With over 20 years' experience advising telecoms businesses and industry organisations on corporate and business strategy he assists clients facing a wide range of business issues.  He is an angel investor, Chartered Engineer and holds an MBA from Imperial College, London.

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