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A Conversation About the State of IoT and Digital Transformation

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We are waist-deep in a game-changing decade of IoT (the Internet of Things). Hands-on, problem-demolishing use cases abound, and yet – in several senses – we’ve only just barely scratched the surface.

Two non-mutually exclusive statements that are both positives: Growth in IoT is a sure-fire thing, and we’ve still got a long, long way to go as we quote-unquote “perfect” the nuts-and-bolts processes of IoT and what digital transformations are possible down the road.

To dissect this topic further, a webinar was recently held. Aptly titled “The State of IoT and Digital Transformation,” a group of industry experts presented thoughtful takes regarding IoT and AI, connectivity via 4G LTE, 5G and LoRaWAN, eSIM management, IoT-enabled smart technologies and much more.

The experts present on the panel were:

  • Kayleigh Thomas, Marketing Director, KORE
  • Ian Itz, Director, IoT Line of Business, Iridium
  • Ignacio Leon, Sales Engineer, Cradlepoint
  • Graham Doe, Country Manager (U.K. & Ireland), Everynet

Here’s the breakdown of this highly informative session:

First, Thomas broke down IoT industries’ developments, as of late. (e.g. Google is discontinuing its Google Cloud IoT Core as of Aug. 16, 2023. Also, the concept of IoT hyperscalers is coming into sharper focus, 2G/3G network sunsets are on the horizon, and new IoT architectures, requirements and technical specs have been published; aka SGP.31/SGP.32.)

In her words, Thomas explained how “a sure sign that IoT has come into its own is the increased regulatory focus being put on smart devices and IoT data on a global scale.” In Europe alone, Allied Market Research projected that the IoT market is going to hit $12.30 billion by 2031 (i.e. growing at a CAGR of 19.0%).

So, pair data-centric IoT with large-scale growth factors (e.g. 43 billion connected devices by the end of 2023), and “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” per music icon Bob Dylan. (In IoT, we see these a-changin’ times as big positives; such changes have, and will continue to, create positive ripple effects across industries.)

Next, Iridium’s Itz spoke about the convergence of satellite technologies and IoT. Iridium runs LEO (low Earth orbit) constellations; approximately 780 kilometers above the planet. Iridium has 66 active satellites with crosslinks that create low-latency, resilient, and high-quality connections. In short, its global footprint in terms of coverage is the same service-wise in London as in São Paulo or New York, for example.

Itz touched on several points, one of which returned to the network shutdowns that Thomas addressed.

“One thing Iridium does not do,” Itz explained, “is sunset any of our services. All of the IoT devices that have been in the field for the last 10 to 15 years don’t need to be replaced and can continue operating seamlessly on new constellations.

To best support IoT’s extensive range of markets, Iridium covers remote sensing needs, asset and fleet management and autonomous systems, as well as connected shipping and fishing workboats, personal communications and business continuity for land vehicles, rotorcraft, UAVs and other aviation means, and IoT requirements for local and global governments, plus militaries and NGOs.

Itz also touched on an agribusiness venture between Iridium and Laird, a topic we covered late last month.

“Overall, at Iridium,” Itz said, “we are custom-built for IoT.”

Cradlepoint’s Leon then took the mic, discussing modern understandings of the pathway to 5G.

Cradlepoint is a FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) vendor that helps businesses with the deployment; specifically, with what Leon described as “FWA Exponential Growth” in myriad IoT devices, 5G/LTE routers, security updates, multitudes of carriers, and scalable SIM/eSIM management.

Leon detailed how Cradlepoint’s customers (e.g. transport companies, public sector businesses, universities, and first responders) are using Cradlepoint’s 5G solutions and what IoT deployment challenges can be triumphed over via real, frictionless FWA transitions.

“Connectivity shouldn’t restricted to a single technology,” Leon affirmed, “and Cradlepoint works to make IoT interconnectedness much simpler.”

Closing out the session was Doe from Everynet. Doe’s main points covered how LoRaWAN is powering (and can continue to power) a green agenda in IoT.

Since Everynet operates “the largest, neutral-host, LPWA national network towers in the world,” per Doe (and has access to more than 100,000 towers), it is Everynet that builds and maintains carrier-grade LoRaWAN networks and ably provides fully managed, server-agnostic, low-cost connectivity as a service for IoT.

“LoRaWAN is wireless designed ever so nicely for IoT,” Doe said. It enables long-range, low-power IoT device connectivity, extending said devices’ battery lives and is preferred in areas with limited power source access.

LoRaWAN from Everynet minimizes e-waste (thus measurably reducing the environmental impacts), and is utilized sustainably in smart cities and buildings (e.g. for smart lighting, parking management, energy monitoring, etc.), as well as in utility management (e.g. smart metering, water quality and leak monitoring, powerline status checks, wastewater control and more).

“LoRaWAN and IoT are quite the match when it comes to the future of our world,” Doe said. “It’s our duty to manage it responsibly.”

For more general information (plus on-demand versions of webinars and a schedule for future sessions), click here.




Edited by Greg Tavarez
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