I would say that there is a lot more that CSPs can offer than just "mediating" or "back end storage". Massive IoT requires a large amount of management, with very diverse requirements.
Consider a livestock tracking application: a new cow is born on a farm; the farmer takes one of the supply of inactive collars he has bought from a tracking company, turns it on and attaches it to the calf; the device suddenly appears on the network and must be recognized, inventoried, connected and firewalled appropriately (a virtual network slice may need to be extended to include it); the tracking company must be notified and must confirm the farmer has paid his bills and that the device should remain on the network and be tracked; the software version must be checked and upgraded if necessary; the farmer and/or the app company must be charged as defined in the contract (one-off, time-based, message-based, or whatever); etc. And all with a device that is probably connected over a very low speed connection, only turns on periodically in order to make its battery last for the life of the cow and which has to be a low cost service. Of course, the requirements for tracking trucks are very different (high speed movement, lots of power available, lots of money available) even though apparently similar.
If we consider consumer IoT (smart TVs, webcams, etc) the requirements are different again. These have high speed connections (probably over the consumer's high speed broadband) and major issues are things like security (of the device, of the consumer's personal data and of the network), remote software version management and upgrade, remote control, etc.
Plenty of opportunities for CSPs to add a lot of value and take a significant cut of the revenues (although those revenues may individually be very small for some applications).
Appreciate the great article by Mr Graham Cobb, Ericsson.
From my learning at MIT online course on IoT, there are three factors, or three axes on which every IoT device can be positioned. These are: a. Power consumption or Battery life b. Bandwidth or Data upload/download rate c. Range or Distance from hub to which it can operate and send / receive signals. So here in the calf tracking case, we need high battery life, bandwidth - not very high (only few bits may be exchanged), moderate distance to send data to hub (depending on the distance the calf can wander around!, may be 100m), whereas for the truck tracking we need a. not a high battery life (the driver can probably charge it every day), b minimum rangerequirements, as the tracking device will be near a WiFi hub in the truck, and less data speed requirements.
I think it's a good way of classifying IoT devices.
Whether a CSP is prepared to adopt a new business model (sorry Jim) is somewhat dependent on how comfortable it feels with its current business model. We all know of many examples of market dominant businesses that failed to evolve…they were too busy re-arranging the deck chairs. I agree with previous observers that IoT is a huge opportunity, but only for those who are prepared to put the necessary resources into it. Unwilling brides need not apply! IoT will most likely be yet another OTT service using CSP connectivity where needed, a commoditized service, from which CSPs will continue to earn revenues, perhaps even as part of the consortia / ecosystem of partners involved in providing the end to end service. The example sighted before of live-stock tracking suggests that the CSP would introduce a new connectivity product (low speed, low cost). If this is their only value add, it would be very small step in leveraging such huge opportunity, and will only serve to reduce the CSP’s share of revenues. To be an effective mediator, I’d suggest one would have to control larger part of the value chain.I totally agree with one of the previous observations that a one size fit all solution is not going to fly here. Architectures will adapt to the next use case. Big data and analytics at the core will only be part of the architecture if the next use case requires it. The market for IoT is simply too wide for a single solution. We have already seen that tracking live-stock will need a different model to tracking trucks, different players in the ecosystem, with different roles.So will CSPs take the step into the unknown?
Indeed, I would agree that IoT requires quite a bit more of agility of the CSP compared to their current service offerings, which are eventually rather static. IoT requires an Eco system, platform and a quicker TTM for new models that may appears beyond their IoT implementation. Yet, is that is the difference, IoT stands much closer to their roots nature that, say, cloud solutions. IoT is eventually about connectivity which is where after all their expertise really lies. So, I see an opportunity for IoT to be adopted more naturally.
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It appears we all agree on the same, it is/will be a mater of agility and flexibility that will define who will take position on this new arriving market.Also we agree that Telcos are not qualified to show that agility and flexibility as it is required, right? So what last to them? Provide the infrastructure and hope to generate some (any) money on the volume?So what should be the business model (and maybe the value chain) for IoE?
Just saw the discussion here: Regarding the question of an OSS system, as the manufacturer of StableNet® we do have an answer. Our understanding of the OSS is to operate as a central control and management system for IoT incl. security control. To the southbound, we can connect to each device, sensor, or other sort of element, and to the north bound with several BSS like analytics etc. Calling it industrial IoT, the OSS should not be restricted to mobile. We are open to each technology. And, we make service delivery visible – that's the value and might open new business models for CSPs. We are also show casing parts of this in the TM Forum Catalysts we are participating in. TM Forum Live! in Nice will be an ideal occasion to further discuss this topic.