IoT’s Effect on the Telecommunications Industry in 2017

IoT’s Effect on the Telecommunications Industry in 2017

By Sofiane Boukhalfa

The Internet of Things (IoT) will revolutionize and significantly impact many industries, as we have discussed previously. In the telecommunications industry, 2017 will see mass rollouts of IoT networks and solutions. According to Transparency Market Research, IoT will be one of the major drivers of growth in the global telecommunications market in 2017. Smart devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart watches, smart meters, sensors, smart buildings, and smart monitoring devices are used globally. This increase will require significant infrastructure investments in order to profit from all that IoT has to offer.

New IoT Technologies for the Telecommunications Industry

The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)-defined NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) solutions will be deployed on the back of existing 4G networks driven by mobile vendors and mobile operators. NB-IoT was designed specially for IoT by the 3GPP, and focuses specifically on indoor coverage, low cost, long battery life, and on enabling a large number of connected devices. The NB-IoT technology can either be deployed “in-band” in spectrum allocated to Long Term Evolution (LTE)—utilizing resource blocks within a normal LTE carrier, or in the unused resource blocks within a LTE carrier’s guard-band—or “standalone” for deployments in dedicated spectrum.

Novel narrowband technologies such as SIGFOX and LoRA will also reach their first significant market penetration. French company, SIGFOX, builds wireless networks to connect low-energy objects such as electricity meters, smartwatches, and washing machines. SIGFOX employs proprietary technology to enable communication using the industrial, scientific and medical ISM radio band. It utilizes an ultra narrowband low-energy, wide-reaching signal that passes freely through solid objects, and can also be used to easily cover large areas and to reach underground objects. The LoRa alliance is an open, non-profit association whose members focus on driving “the success of the LoRa protocol, LoRaWAN™, as the open global standard for secure, carrier-grade IoT LPWA connectivity.” LoRa offers a certification program to guarantee interoperability and the technical flexibility to address multiple IoT applications simultaneously.

Future Prospects

These numerous options leave consumers with new opportunities and a future filled with new products and services to enjoy. For those companies wishing to develop these future IoT products and services, these options mean that they must make important strategic decisions combining their predictions of how the consumer and technology landscape will evolve, and how they will meet this evolution.

IoT’s growing popularity is offering new opportunities for players throughout the telecommunications industry value chain, ranging from mobile carriers and operators to hardware manufacturers. Adapting to this change will require a robust innovation strategy and insights into both consumers’ ever-evolving demands and into new technologies being developed in academia and industry.

Image courtesy of

Never miss an insight

Get insights delivered right to your inbox

More of Our Insights & Work
Popup Builder Mailchimp extension requires authentication.