Designing, deploying, and managing an IoT estate is no one-stop-shop type of task. It has proven to be complex in virtually all use cases, and this certainly applies to connectivity challenges in cellular IoT.
Eseye, a leading-edge solutions provider in this space, has provided global IoT cellular connectivity solutions since its inception in 2007. And this month, Eseye shared its predictions for 2023 and the “seismic changes” yet to come. According to Eseye, the industry is likely to be influenced as it reaches an inflection point, whereby enterprises will have to evolve as new tech enables a power shift from Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). Eseye also noted that eSIMs (embedded Subscriber Identification Modules) have solved the interoperability challenge and have allowed for customers with eSIM-enabled IoT devices to switch easily between mobile networks, reducing MNO sign-up dependability.
Now, Eseye reports that all of this has been catalytic for five uniquely significant trends coming for 2023.
The MNO proprietary lock-in will crack due to increased choice availability as well as the hyperscaler threat.
As eSIMs become the default tech for IoT devices, the 40-year-long MNO proprietary lock-in has broken. Power has switched to the hands of the enterprise, and hyperscalers such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have begun investing heavily in IoT. With this power switch, “IoT use cases for enterprises will be designed around the user, not the technology.” In 2023, MNOs will consider changing business models to offer services as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) instead; this will better align and more seamlessly integrate with offerings and flexibility from hyperscalers.
Interoperability between private and public networks will become a bigger priority.
Large enterprises have started building towards LTE private networks as well, so in 2023 Eseye believes that focuses will sharpen on “roaming to and from private networks as adoption grows.” This will place further demand on connectivity, and MVNOs will have to pay attention to cross-networking switching more heavily. In the new year, the more dominant players in this ecosystem will be the MVNOs who do pay attention, and who offer rules-based switching between public and private networks (while maintaining common APIs, consolidated billing, etc.)
The multiple Radio Access Types (or multi-RATs) design strategy will ascend, as will “network-agnostic” approaches.
As modem costs decrease, increased becomes interested in utilizing multi-RATs and different network providers, “delivering a mix of options to better optimize connectivity for IoT deployments.” Also very worth noting are the innovations happening in Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellite constellations and device-to-cloud communications. (We recently published a related piece regarding Sateliot’s cell towers in space.) As different network types rise, so will the need for better device functionality (with multiple modes of smooth connectivity). Successful MVNOs must embrace multi-RATs and support for network solutions across cellular, satellite, Wi-Fi, and more.
Consumer and enterprise IoT use cases will converge, creating new connectivity challenges in need of solving.
Formerly-disparate models for both enterprise and consumers are appearing in healthcare and electric vehicle production (amongst others). In 2023, being able to provide them with the integration of connectivity solutions will bridge entirely different worlds.
IoT devices will start and end with connectivity.
In 2022, devices have needed embedded intelligence (like eSIMs) to operate effectively and “to detect connectivity and to utilize the right components and protocols.” In 2023, hardware is predicted to be as important (if not more so) than the software. Built-in connectivity and flexibility in devices will allow for adaptation as the market continues to evolve.
Edited by Erik Linask