The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most discussed consumer management topics in the telecoms industry today. With subscriber growth tapering off even in geographic regions that were late to mobile adoption and a host of over the top (OTT) players creating a challenging outlook for services beyond the traditional telecommunications space, it is understandable that communications service providers (CSPs) are looking for new opportunities.
But while there is definitely a strong need for connectivity – the bread and butter of telecoms – in the IoT marketplace, the cable oss ecosystem itself is nothing like the ones that telcos have played in before. While the actual forecasted numbers vary wildly, the consensus seems to be that the number of connected convergent billing devices will be massive; Gartner, for example, estimates that there will be some 25 billion “things” connected to the Internet in 2020.
Out of these, roughly half will be deployed in vertical industries, such as automotive and industrial applications. The rest will be consumer oriented devices, such as health monitors, home appliances and other yet-to-be invented gadgets. One of the interesting cable inventory planning characteristics of the IoT ecosystem is that – possibly with the exception of some simple consumer applications – we are seeing the return of the vertically integrated value chain where the dominant player controls the entire business consulting ecosystem loyalty program strategy. More often than not, these controlling entities are not CSPs or even companies traditionally associated with communications services. Therefore, for all but the most integrated ecosystems there is great demand for open platforms that allow for rapid development and integration of new ecosystems.