On June 30, 2016, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to have a nationwide network for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Implemented by KPN, the largest telecom and IT service provider in the country, the network would make it simple to develop smart applications that can help connect devices and lead to overall optimization.
“Last year we identified an increasing demand for low-power network technology for Internet of Things applications. We are responding to this by choosing LoRa (Long Range) network, so millions of devices can be connected to the internet in a cost-effective manner,” said Joost Farwerck, Chief Operations Officer and member of the Board of Management of KPN.
KPN’s LoRa is a new network for IoT and a supplement to the existing 2G, 3G and 4G networks. It eliminates significant barriers such as costs, consumption and energy, so that numerous devices can be connected to the Internet. KPN has already contracted 1.5 million ‘devices’ that will be connected to the IoT network. The number is anticipated to increase swiftly now that the network is available throughout the Netherlands.
Korea jumps on the IoT bandwagon
Coming a close second in the photo finish, South Korea has also claimed that it was rolling out its IoT network. South Korean telco SK Telecom claims its technology will allow it to reach 99% of the country’s population. The company is investing close to $100 billion in the project and claims its price plans are “highly affordable”, which would ease the cost burden for startups and small and medium enterprises. Korea’s IoT network will allow public, private and commercial smart devices to capture and process data for various purposes and can host devices to track the location of people, vehicles, objects and assets.
“SK Telecom is proud to announce the nationwide deployment of LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) as it marks the first important step towards realizing connectivity,” said Lee Hyung-hee, President of Mobile Network Business at SK Telecom.
IoT and Make in India initiative go hand in hand
With the thrust on new initiatives such as Smart Cities, Smart Homes, Digital India, and Make in India, the role of IoT will be pivotal. IoT together with Big Data Analytics is set to transform our homes and surroundings to a great extent. Smart homes and smart cities are based on the premise of interconnectivity of devices. From energy saving to managing timings of water pumps, IoT is looking to disrupt and revolutionize several aspects of our lives. Recently, there has been a boom in IoT-oriented startups that are implementing the new technology in novel and inconceivable ways like connected transport systems, pH measurement of soil, etc.
IoT spreads like wildfire
According to a McKinsey report on IoT: “If policy makers and businesses get it right, linking the physical and digital worlds could generate up to $11.1 trillion a year in economic value by 2025. At the top end, that level of value—including the consumer surplus—would be equivalent to about 11 percent of the world economy.” There are other inputs also which corroborate the McKinsey study. Global research firm Gartner says that the number of organizations adopting IoT will grow 50 percent in 2016, reaching 43 percent of organizations overall.
“The IoT is already changing the way we interact with the world as the number of smart devices keeps increasing. It blurs the line between our physical world and the Internet. Businesses are just beginning to wake up to the value of IoT globally. The potential is enormous,” said Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera, a Cloud-based business software company working in Big Data and Analytics.
IoT is all set to impact industries across the board. In healthcare, it is predicted that, by 2025, remote monitoring of patients with chronic diseases could generate $1.1 trillion a year. Apart from wearables and connected home devices, the new technology has found applications in smart city, Industrial Internet, retail tech, among others.
The new technology is expected to lead to improvement in business intelligence as enormous amounts of data starts pouring in from all everywhere – homes, offices, hospitals, malls, and every other conceivable space. With proper Big Data Analytics tools in place, businesses would be able to improve their business strategy and customer experience. They would get real-time feedback, would be able to monitor customer behavior, review product performance, and track loyalty. Besides, companies can also utilize the IoT to improve equipment maintenance and enhance the safety of workers.
According to a Gartner prediction, by 2020, there will be 25 billion savvy gadgets transmitting information. With the way the IoT, Big Data and Analytics have started gaining ground we might as well brace ourselves for the next Industrial Revolution.