Digital technology has acted as the catalyst for globalisation, allowing enterprises to reach more customers in more locations worldwide. Mobile technology and infrastructure now support reliable, consistent communication, allowing businesses to maintain a local presence whilst serving a multinational customer base.
The IoT will fuel further globalisation, allowing devices and sensors to send and receive information in situ or on-the-go, uninhibited by location. Who will benefit from this connected world? Well, it’s more a case of who won’t benefit, as a greater number and wider scope of sectors are waking up to the potential of the IoT.
The Internet of Everything
The IoT has the potential to deliver up to $11.1 trillion on an annual basis by 2025, radically transforming how we do business, access services, and live our day-to-day lives. In addition to advancing operational efficiencies, driving productivity, reducing waste and boosting profits, the connected environment will also deliver socio-economic benefits. For example, the value of improved health of chronic disease patients through remote monitoring – made possible thanks to the IoT – could be as much as $1.1 trillion per year in 2025, whilst in emerging markets, IoT in education could provide 180 million children the opportunity to stay in school.
Connectivity can be embedded in physical objects and devices to offer tracking and monitoring features such as real-time alerts and information on parcel deliveries, fleets of vehicles, supply chains, and so on. And in the consumer space, connecting devices offers a strategic opportunity for better customer engagement and the development of more personalised service offerings, thanks to big data collection and analysis.
Embedding connectivity in a health and fitness tracking watch, for instance, will allow numerous parties to realise these rewards. The watch’s owner is able to receive information and service offers based on their personal activity and preferences; a virtual personal training package, for example. A healthcare provider can remotely monitor the wearer’s health and vital stats and send alerts and relevant information, such as medication reminders. An insurance provider, on the other hand, is able to gain a deeper insight into a policy-holder and offer them relevant discounts or incentives, or else gain additional material to aid a claims process.
The size, range and number of objects which can be connected to the IoT is seemingly endless, and it’s only a matter of time before connected cars, city infrastructure, household appliances, security alarms, animals, humans, trains and planes and more will be everyday features of societies globally.
However, challenges do remain. BICS has been preparing for the IoT explosion and developed effective solutions which allow enterprises to make the most of our digitized world.
How to overcome would-be challenges
In the first example, an IoT provider is required to provide an end-to-end solution to improve efficiency and management of vehicles, parcel deliveries, or a supply chain internationally. BICS is able to solve this challenge by providing a suite of solutions to help the systems integrator achieve competitive and well-managed roaming for its data-centric needs. Our one-stop-shop suite of roaming solutions allows machine-to-machine providers to access any mobile operator in the world at unrivaled quality and cost. BICS manages these roaming relationships, meaning less hard work for the integrator and rapid service roll-out.
The IoT lift-off
To launch into the connected consumer device market meanwhile, a manufacturer with no experience in telecoms will require a completely outsourced solution. BICS has the know-how and network to ensure reliable, high quality international connectivity for applications running on a manufacturer’s device. Our SIM for Things is a purpose-built M2M and IoT SIM combined with a management platform fully virtualised which can be easily integrated with enterprise IT systems via a large library of APIs. So, a manufacturer of a wearable fitness tracker, car, etc. can manage and monetize their devices, and guarantee reliable, consistent connectivity wherever in the world the device and its owner may roam.
BICS has been advancing the shift to an IoT future by providing global connectivity through our expansive and growing operator network. We’re now able to support enterprises – from start-ups to huge multi-nationals – streamline their launch into the IoT era. With our Global M2M-in-the-Cloud solution enterprises can also easily become fully operational global MVNOs by themselves. Operators looking to tread the digital path can also benefit, as the solution allows them to quickly and easily develop IoT services, unlocking new revenue streams.
Going forward, we’re excited to form innovative partnerships in diverse verticals, and connect more businesses, devices and people to the global IoT.
An article by Mikael Schachne, VP Mobility Solutions at BICS