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Reference Model for IoT

  • 1.  Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Feb 14, 2017 16:18
    In the age of connected ecosystem where we are heading towards Universe-of-Things which are online for a purpose; CSP and telcos can play a crucial role by providing IoT Infrastructure as a Platform where Service Author will use the platform as a vehicle for delivering the value to its consumers. Therefore, CSP/Telecos need to re-write there business and operating models for such massive market of things. Do you agree? Is there any reference model for IoT?

    Syed Azhar Hussain
    Saudi Telecom Company

  • 2.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    Posted Feb 15, 2017 06:48
    Hi Syed,

    I totally agree, as I believe not just CSPs and Telco's need to change their business operating models, but the entire channel of ICT service providers. The consumers (i.e. ICT Service Provider Brokers) of these Universe-of-things provided by Telcos as managed services with the partnership of CSPs, also require a change in their business operating models. These ICT Service Provider Brokers enable their business to deliver smart products and services to their customers. I am currently in the process of my Master's degree dissertation research on this exact topic "The impact of multi-cloud computing on ICT Service Provider 's operating models" in South Africa. As the digital transformation (Industry 4.0) is upon us, no matter if you like or not will cause disruption across all industries changing the way we used to work in the past. As Telcos are taking a center stage in driving this digital transformation and providing in-country hybrid cloud capabilities for companies to meet market demands. The standardisation of cloud platforms for agility and flexibility to shift workloads across CSPs is a reality, in providing consumable services. Mobility and Telco infrastructure is at that core to make or break the end user experience, which in some case if not all cases leave companies powerless when delivering their smart products and services to their customers and users. Therefor strong partnerships and service levels between the CSP, Telco and ICT Service Provider Broker is crucial to have transparency and clear insight for end-to-end service delivery of Universe-of-Things solutions. 

    Ronald Powell

    Ronald Powell

  • 3.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Feb 16, 2017 07:21
    For the expected 50 billion of things in 2020 usage of separate cloud servers is not feasible and not environment friendly. Hence, implementation of Big Data in each country and region have to be practical for the best and profitable performance of Internet of Things (IoT).
    And also how is routing IoT messages from one region/continent to another in order to manage our things.

    Gebru Kebede
    Ethio Telecom
    (Engineering Support Supervisor)

    Gebru Kebede
    Ethio Telecom

  • 4.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    Posted Feb 17, 2017 01:33
    Ericsson is slowly backtracking on the 50bn connected devices estimate they publicized in 2010. Latest mobility report from Ericsson breaks that down into more specific categories.

    Yohanes Lukiman
    Indosat Ooredoo

  • 5.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Feb 20, 2017 01:18
    IoT/IoE is a general concept that applies to potentially any business and involves a variety of vertical industries and use cases. Due to that, in order to be effective, IoT/IoE Solutions shall adopt the most suitable architecture for implementing the next use case, avoiding the classical Telco-world "architecture" or "framework" and leveraging instead on state-of-the-art technology, combined with agile and emerging design methodology.
    Any standardization effort shall keep the ability to address the next use case with optimal underlying costs and time-to-market, avoiding useless over-specification works. Contact me if you want to drill down on these concepts, which are actually very concrete and practical.

    Federico Descalzo
    Italtel S.p.A

  • 6.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Feb 16, 2017 10:11
    Edited by Melanie DiGeorge Oct 30, 2018 15:01
        thank you, it is nice meet everyone and be apart of this group


    wang junping
    Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications

  • 7.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Feb 17, 2017 02:13

    I second your opinion, CSP(s)/Telco players surely will play a major role in overall IoT value chain. Having said that i believe still there are lot of things to be explored in IoT space as there could be many players, providing similar sort of services. The way i see Telcos to contribute is mainly in providing following:
    • Suitable radio coverage and especially custom designed to accommodate inexpensive, low range, high in number devices/sensors,
    • On the data centre per say, robust, cost effective, low carbon foot print enabled Big Data analytics engines,
    • Most importantly highly secure and inter operable networks.
    I see IoT as the next wave and probably a wave of optimism for Telcos as this time, it will be more about providing connectivity to machines and not the humans with intelligence.  

    Vishal Garg


  • 8.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    Posted Feb 19, 2017 23:52

    The CSP role in the IoT will be more of facilitator by making available the following to the IoT enterprises initially.
    • Bandwidth and adequate radio coverage and resources [more so tending towards 4.5 and 5 G]
    • Assurance and Fulfillment 
    • CSP will come up with App based IoT solutions in the initial time period.
    • Have SLA with the IoT enterprises.
    • Managed services for IoT

    Regards Avadhut

    Avadhut Deshpande
    Persistent Systems Ltd

  • 9.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    Posted Feb 20, 2017 20:05
    My thoughts tend to align with Avadhut. Telco's will play a mediating role between IoT device networks and back end data storage providers such as AWS. Historically, Telcos have not been the best at providing large platforms, but they are experienced in mediating networks, so this is where I see they can add value. With an increasing range of diverse IoT network protocols, there will be a need for this added value. They cannot compete with the level of investment in data storage that Amazon is currently engaged in.

    Gail La Grouw
    Insight | Performance | Transformation

  • 10.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Feb 21, 2017 04:15

    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).



    Graham Cobb


  • 11.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Feb 22, 2017 01:16

    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.




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  • 12.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Feb 22, 2017 01:38
    I totally agree with you Graham. CSPs can have a lot more to offer than network connectivity.

    Jihad Khairallah
    Ericsson Inc.

  • 13.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Feb 23, 2017 02:33
    I Believe CSP can move few steps ahead.

    in terms of the Security  :
    1. some how restrict the network to access the IOT SIM to speak only the IOT platform ( the data collection /receiving platform).
    2. IOT vendors / CSP should be able to develop analytics based on the Machine learnings ( since CSP has huge Volumes of Data flowing,
       Having said that , It is not necessary that CSP can Violate the data security restrictions by sharing the data of  one vendor to other vendor) ,
    there should be some standard Set globally as to what kind of data can be taken Ideally this should refined data ( final machine learnt data).
    3. CSP should not be restricted only to selling Bandwidth , they should move one more step by providing the solution for the IOT tracking of various industries.
    4. IOT platform should not be restricted only to data collection from various sensors  ,they  should be in a position to analyze and refine the data
    to provide various next steps based on its Machine leaning or intelligent advice based on the data received.

    Ramanujam GS
    Wipro Technologies

  • 14.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    Posted Mar 02, 2017 01:49
    Guys, I see a very lively discussion here :)

    In its all likelihood CSPs can very much take a decisive role for IoT business model, but I don't see that happening considering especially the current implementation of M2M in some countries. There is a huge (and I mean it) ecosystem around IoT which is what is going to be the key player, CSPs will have a limited role barring a few. More likely it will be a MVNO type structure where ecosystem suppliers will add value. This is my personal view & I may be wrong.

    Nevertheless I would be keen to know the initiatives from the CSPs.


    Mohammad Khatib
    Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd

  • 15.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Mar 03, 2017 08:46
    I get shivers whenever I see CSP and business model in the same sentence. Not because they shouldn’t be a player but because CSPs have proven so lousy at doing it. CSPs (via the Forum) had the opportunity to dominate the digital media / streaming services market 8 years ago but lacked the interest or the vision. They continue to trip over themselves when it comes to other OTT-driven services. While I agree CSPs should be dominating the discussion w/r/t IoT, history says they will be laggards for all the same reasons.

  • 16.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Mar 06, 2017 00:42
    I agree with @Jim Warner. CSPs have already lost several opportunities of convergence because of lack of ability to define business models. Digital Wallets, Payments and M-Commerce is another area where they were expected to disrupt the traditional banking, online and inshop retailers but the fact is that except a very few live examples CSPs in general has failed and Niche players are able to step-in, because opportunities were real !!!!

    bilal ahmad
    Ericsson Inc.

  • 17.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    Posted Mar 07, 2017 01:41

    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?

    Farzin Froughi

  • 18.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    Posted Mar 08, 2017 01:14
    Hi ,

    I agree with Farzin  approach that the CSPs are going to be on  fringe, wait and watch players in the IoT business model. The revenue for the CSPs for IoT is in providing the infrastructure ,bandwidth or VPN to the IoT players. So the CIO need to ensure the security and integration issue for the IoT enterprises. The business model from CSP perspective is to be the preferred partners to IoT enterprises by offering connectivity infrastructure and leverage the revenue. The wait and watch policy is must - because the moment CSP launch IoT use case solutions every negative SQM issue may lead to churn of existing /new customer and hence decline in ARPU . So the best way forward in line with  the business model is to offer infrastructure to IoT enterprises and earn revenue and later acquire successful IoT enterprises .

    Cheers Avadhut

    Avadhut Deshpande
    Persistent Systems Ltd

  • 19.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Mar 08, 2017 01:56
    Hi All,

    This is an interesting thread.
    I think we are looking at IoT the wrong way. CSPs time and again get too caught up in the numbers that can be potentially realised and how it can be realised. I see too much stress being made on Business Models and Revenue realisation, where the stress should be identifying the endless problems that IoT can help solve for end customers/ enterprises. Merely focussing on the ROI will not let us review the landscape of opportunities dispassionately and hence collaboration and universally accepted standards and hence interoperability can never be achieved.
    I believe any given CSP should strictly review the IoT opportunity from a problem solving standpoint. Once this is done the ecosystem required for facilitating this can be understood. Its then the CSP can decide where in the value chain they want to be and what strategic partnerships are required for realising the goal. Business Model and resource utilisation and allocation can be decided in accordance to the vision that comes hence forth.

    Md Rizwi
    Business Analyst | Tata Consultancy Services

  • 20.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Mar 08, 2017 02:04

    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.



    Paul Visser

    Carrier IT Solution Sales
    Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.





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  • 21.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    Posted Mar 07, 2017 01:47
    Yes, there is lagging in setting a vision but on the other hand, there are many factors which need to be considered. At this point of time if IOTs are incorporated then there are two big factors which are a nightmare for CSPs. One is the handling of Big data and second is the security of data. Having said that, CSP will always look into ROI if they are intended to invest in the IOTs. For the same reason, niche market players, with low investments are getting into play and gaining the shares in the market.

    Ahsen awan

  • 22.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Mar 07, 2017 08:03

    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? 

    Eduardo Carvalho
    Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd

  • 23.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    Posted Mar 16, 2017 03:37
    Providing IOT solution requires multiple partners to come together with CSPs being in the center. If CSP wants to lead the race, they shall have OSS/BSS system which can able to plug vendors with ease and provide faster solutions as per customer requirement. The question is what OSS/BSS system shall they adopt to? Any recommendations?

    Sukesh Saxena
    Tata Communications Ltd

  • 24.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    Posted Mar 16, 2017 02:31
    I agree with Jim Warner's "laggard' comment.

    But CSPs also have a problem, although their main business is providing 'service' their focus is rather more on technology. This is also visible in the discussion thread as most comments are related to technology, bandwidth, latency, battery life etc.

    This year MWC had a considerable focus on business model and IoT, hope this would drive change in their mindset.

    Mohammad Khatib


  • 25.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Mar 29, 2017 03:07

    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.


    Stefan Rebesky


    Stefan Rebesky
    Director Solutions

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  • 26.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    Posted Oct 15, 2018 14:23
    what do you think - which industry is best suited to IOT? Do you have any proven industries in which such a project will definitely work, and in which it is not even worth trying, because the product will not be accepted? I am happy to meet your opinions, you can contact me.

    Pu Was
    Self employed

  • 27.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Oct 18, 2018 21:38
    Some interesting points in this discussion...

    For my part, I find it hard to imagine the IoT landscape not being dominated by Google, Amazon and Microsoft.  Access network aside, they each have touch points at every part of the value chain and have he capability and technology off the shelf to do intelligent things with your data once they have it.

    IMHO if Telco's want to play in this game (beyond access networks) then they are going to need to find points in that ecosystem where they bring unique value.  I think that's probably going to be applications where it makes sense to push capability close to the edge.  ie.
    • Low Latency
    • Terminating Large amounts of low bandwidth persistent connections
    • High volume data aggregation & caching (ingress or egress) 
    Even simple functions likely already in their portfolio, like providing CDN services for firmware upgrades, provide new opportunities in an IoT context.  Fundamentally it's like anything; understanding the problem space and finding places to create unique value.

    Craig Armour
    K C Armour & Co

  • 28.  RE: Reference Model for IoT

    Posted May 22, 2019 09:03
    The Reference Model consists of several sub-models that set the scope for the IoT design space and that address architectural views and perspectives.  The primary and thus the key model is the IoT Domain Model, which describes all the concepts that are relevant in the Internet of Things. The main purpose of a domain model is to generate a common understanding of the target domain in question. Such a common understanding is important, not just project-internally, but also for the scientific discourse. Only with a common understanding of the main concepts, it becomes possible to argue about architectural solutions and to evaluate them. There are many sub-techniques in IOT Programming for the model which is used in various field.

    CETPA Infotech