Report Predicts Rise in Global IoT Connectivity in 2019


By Emma Okonji

A recent survey conducted by Mobile World Live has predicted sudden surge in global Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity in 2019.

The survey yielded insights into industry awareness of the technology and the expected pace of uptake, as well as what issues needed to be resolved to facilitate widespread adoption and what benefits companies are expected to reap from implementation of IoT.

The GSM Association (GSMA) had also predicted that IoT connectivity would continue to grow to reach 25 billion by 2025.

Although the adoption rate of IoT was minimal a few years ago, the report said the IoT market remained in the midst of an exponential growth spurt. GSMA Intelligence noted there were 6.3 billion IoT connections in 2016, a figure it predicted will skyrocket to 25 billion by 2025.

With more devices on the network, centralised processing becomes more cumbersome. However, IoT Edge technology uses capable devices and gateways to push functionality, including device integration and management, data collection and processing, and analytics, to the outer reaches of the network.

Moving storage and processing of data to the edge increases device reliability and reduces the need for costly data transport to a central processing centre, the report said, while assessing industry familiarity with and interest in this technology, as well as expected deployment timelines, applications and benefits. It also identified key pain points the industry will address before the IoT technology proliferates.

According to the online survey, 20 per cent of the respondents were from a hardware vendor, 14 per cent were from a software vendora, 9 per cent were from a tier one telecoms operator, 5 per cent were from a tier two telecoms operator and 3 per cent were from a mobile virtual network operator. The remaining 48 per cent of respondents were from other sectors within the mobile ecosystem.

From the main group respondents, 48 per cent were from organisations with their headquarters in Europe. An additional 26 per cent were from North America, 9 per cent from East Asia, 5 per cent from Africa, 4 per cent from South East Asia, 3 per cent from South America and 2 per cent from South West Asia.

“As the wireless industry moves toward 5G, mobile providers are gravitating toward distributed architectures, which can push computing tasks normally processed in a centralised location or the cloud to the edge of the network.
IoT Edge technology applies a similar principle but to the information, relying on connected devices to move various functionalities closer to the points of the network where data is generated. Using an IoT Edge setup, device integration and management, data processing and analytics, and decision making can all be handled at or very near the information-generating end points,” the report said.

Though survey respondents seemed eager to take up IoT Edge technology, they flagged a number of concerns and priorities which needed to be addressed before deployments move forward, the report said. It listed the concerns and priorities to include reliability (12 per cent), cost and ecosystem development (11 per cent each). However, security topped the list with 51 per cent of respondents naming it as the primary issue the industry needs to tackle in order to facilitate widespread adoption.

Survey respondents’ demand for integrated security was also addressed by the GSMA guidelines, which highlighted the role of embedded SIM technology in securing devices and enhancing identity management.