IoT: Next Gen of connectivity explosion and environment friendly connected devices

In an interview with Konnect Worldwide Business Media, Ashish Gulati, Country Head, India, Telit Wireless Solutions shares his views about the rise of M2M communications. Excerpts:

• Information Technology players say that the rise of machine to machine communications is commonly known as “Internet of Things”. Can you share your views on this matter?

Machine 2 Machine communication or Internet of Things is now becoming a reality with things talking to each other. IoT has been evolving over time. Next evolution is going to be “Connected Things”, where multiple things will be connected by wires or wireless networks, enabling them to talk to each other. The communication link of the IoT depends on the wireless technology and sensor devices. IoT& M2M communication consists of sensors and devices attached to everyday objects/things that are connected to the Internet through wired and wireless networks. The IoT is much more than m2m. It is all about association with the objects in the surroundings, whereas M2M communicates with machines like energy meters or sensors. So we can say that M2M is subset of IoT.

• How do you describe the new importance combination of M2M/IoT transforming the IT/Telecom landscape? Can you throw some light on the recent trends on M2M/IoT communications in India?

M2M/IoT devices provide network connection and remote management and enhancing operational and cost efficiencies by allowing businesses to monitor and control valuable assets of the companies. The global telecom industry has been going through a sea change over the past few years. Recent research has shown that the telecommunication services revenue is expected to touch USD 2.1 trillion in 2014 and increase to 2.4 trillion by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 2.1%. M2M and IOT are set to grow from USD 10.4 billion in 2014 to USD 29.4 billion by 2017 and is further expected to touch USD 76.1 billion by the year 2020. Seeing this lucrative market opportunity, many players in this sector are trying to create better opportunities to improve and provide a better customer service.

Machine to Machine (M2M) communication is on the rise. There will be more machines connected to the Internet than human beings in the next decade. M2M technologies are able to transfer data to physical assets and devices located in a remote central location for effective monitoring and control. M2M growth projections are high but the related ecosystem has been unable to keep pace with the complex requirements. The current M2M market is highly fragmented and standardization levels are low. There are a number of diverse players that need to collaborate to arrive at a specific solution. The challenge of M2M is that each solution is dependent on what needs to be monitored, controlled, diagnosed and reported. Getting the right design is crucial because M2M solutions directly impact business processes and end users. One also needs to think services point of view instead of thinking only from a product view.

• In India Wireless Machine-2-Machine Modules Market expected to cross 100 bn in coming years. How Telit placed itself to be a major player in this market?

Machine 2 Machine communication technology is able to bring huge efficiencies and turning the process or the service addressable in real time and creating market opportunities for the businesses. According to the industry estimates, though M2M communication is in nascent stage but is expected to cross 100 bn in the near future. Cellular machine 2 machine connections are expected to grow at a rate of over 40% in the coming years. M2M applications have a great potential to transform businesses. Machine-to-Machine communication will challenge companies to be innovative in the same way as mobile internet did. Given the diverse nature of M2M applications, some sectors will be more successful / innovative and emerge as winner than other sectors.

However, for M2M to gain acceptance among the general populace, service providers and others must deliver applications that bring tangible value to peoples’ lives. In India, it is expected that M2M revenues will be driven by opportunities in making buildings and cities intelligent. IT services companies like Infosys, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, and Tech Mahindra are working on designing and developing M2M solutions to make Smart Cities. Besides these IT services giants, a number of start-ups are also working on design and development of M2M solutions. As an enabler of m2m solution and the market leader in India, we are also hoping to get a good slice of this care especially in the government smart city project and in other sectors like energy, telematics and telemetry.

• Can you give us a brief insight into the growing market for Internet of Things (IoT) today?

According to latest IDC report explosive growth in cloud services and the number of Internet-connected devices is expected to propel the Internet of Things (IoT) market globally to $3.04 trillion (roughly Rs. 1,86,86,800crores) by 2020. The market, estimated to be $1.3 trillion (roughly Rs. 79,91,100crores) in 2013, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent to reach $3.04 trillion by 2020. IoT is a network of devices that communicates without human interaction using IP connectivity. The IoT ecosystem includes intelligent systems, network equipment, connectivity services, data integration, and often other types of software, applications, services and security. The opportunities presented by IoT are driving widespread attention among Information and Communication Technology (ITC) vendors looking to take advantage of the emerging revenue opportunities.

• How would the various new-age devices in connection with Internet of Things ‘talk’ to each other?

The communication link of IoT depends on the technology that is available on smartphones. The IoT relies on inexpensive, small sensors; these sensors need to be power efficient, and able to run on batteries that last many years. On the industry’s side, it will definitely be a combination of existing technologies like WPAN as well as lower spectrum technologies such as 2G or 2.5G, because the cost and amount of data is very different with respect to the consumer.

• What is the impact or the application of the IoT in industrial settings?

If we consider the area of energy or smart grids that employs a usage model which may leverage a combination of technologies related to cellular type of connectivity for better communication. For example, smart meters have the ability to connect to some mechanisms using cellular modems or power line carrier communication that provides the ability to use the power line itself to communicate the information. From a connectivity/technology perspective, it will definitely be a combination of existing technologies because the amount of information that needs to be sent over the network would be much more relevant depending on the industry. IoT has a major impact in areas such as telecom, transportation and housing industry but energy and health are the two areas that require attention with respect to implementation of Internet of Things.

• What is Telit’s strategy on Internet of things?

The evolution of IoT has benefitted individuals, social causes, politics, business and entire economies by escalating connectivity, removing physical barriers, and harnessing “Big Data.”IoT is in its infant stage in a country like India with tremendous opportunities going forward. Telit Wireless Solutions, a global provider of high-end machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions with its initiative is fully dedicated to Internet of Things (IoT). IoT& M2M communication consists of attaching sensors and devices into everyday objects/things that are connected to the Internet through wired and wireless networks.

In this domain Telit’s module products are divided into families, each with a specific form factor (size and shape with identical interfaces) across each wireless platform according to application size and production scale. Telit is the only M2M supplier to offer all relevant technologies for M2M markets in its product portfolio with cellular (GSM/GPRS, UMTS/WEDGE/HSPA+, CDMA/EVDO), short-range (including ZigBee®, short range to GSM/GPRS, and Wireless MBus), and cutting-edge GPS receivers including the world’s smallest and most sensitive GPS receiver module. We are confident of bagging the business opportunities in various government and private sector related IoT projects and help people live smart lives in smart cities.

What is the role of IoT and Telit applications in the Automotive sector?

The Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine communication depicts how the Internet will get bigger as sensors and intelligence are connected to physical things like physical assets or consumer devices. The IoT is much more than m2m. It is all about association with the objects in the surroundings.

Telematics diligence is one of the highest emerging sectors in the world and progresses in mobile communication industry have made it possible to detect and determine any variable in real-time. The industry has undergone a paradigm shift, especially when we see the rising number of accidents and thefts in the automobile segment. Indian telematics market is gaining momentum and proposes elevated expansion opportunities in the automotive market. The adoption of machine-to-machine (M2M) technology in the telematics segment has a massive potential, and M2M resolution is the elucidation to make these things possible and affordable. M2M devices are designed in such a way that it could be incorporated into all transportation segments like cars, trucks, aircraft, trains, trailers, ships and containers. M2M data modules are extremely sophisticated and come with an array of features and capabilities such as onboard Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology, flexible land grid array surface mounting, embedded M2M optimised smart cards (like phone SIMs) known as MIMs or M2M identification modules, and embedded Java, a significant facilitating technology to step up the Internet of Things (IOT).

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