To understand how IoT can be used in telecommunications first we must look at what IoT is. IoT stands for The Internet of Things, and simply put, it refers to the ability to transform any object into a smart device by connecting it to the internet. For example, any device that can be controlled with a phone app is an IoT device such as a smart lightbulb, a smart coffee maker, a smart refrigerator, and so on. IoT devices have sensors that will transmit data via the internet. It is the internet of objects (hence Internet of Things).
IoT technology spans widely across several different industries from toys to telecommunications, home devices, automobiles and even military equipment such as jet engines. This should give you an idea of just how powerful IoT technology is. It is only recently that the technology needed to make IoT cost effective has begun to arrive with the help of IoT specific cellular technologies such as NB-IoT and LTE-M.
So how are mobile carriers using IoT technology?
Some major examples include:
- Monitoring mobile equipment performance.
Special IoT technologies focus on monitoring mobile equipment usage and performance of devices. This can be anything from how much data the device is using, what time it is being used and for what purpose, as well as visibility into potential issues with the device.
- Managing telecom infrastructure.
With the application of IoT technology, mobile carriers can monitor their infrastructure remotely. That is to say that they do not need to spend time and resources in dispatching technicians to constantly check up on the condition of their infrastructures. This is particularly useful for mobile carriers that have equipment in very remote locations such as out-of-the-way cell towers.
- Obtaining visibility and control of mobile data usage internally as well as allowing consumers and businesses to manage their own devices.
Mobile carriers are also using IoT technology to manage how the mobile data on their devices is being used both internally and externally. An example of internal use of IoT technology is our IoT Control platform which allows mobile carriers to see information regarding the usage of their devices. This includes the amount of data used and websites accessed, among many other details. However, mobile carriers can also provide the same visibility to their B2C and B2B customers in the form of parental controls for consumers and management of company devices for businesses.
- Providing the IoT cellular technologies for industries to connect their devices and send and receive data.
In order for any kind of business, institution or government entity to have IoT technology, they need specialized IoT service from mobile carriers to transmit data. As mentioned earlier in this article, it is only recently that this type of service has become available (in the form of IoT specific cellular technologies) in a way that is cost effective thanks to NB-IoT and LTE-M, creating a new revenue stream for mobile carriers.
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