Ericsson Report reveals Attitudes towards the “Internet of Things”

Ericsson, the multinational telecommunications company, has released a report revealing telecoms operators’ attitudes towards the potential of emerging Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

What is an IoT?

An IoT refers to any group of objects connected to each other via the internet.The possibilities for these networks are endless, and they could change the ways we live and work in the coming years.The resultant network could comprise of anything from smartphones, toasters, and washing machines, to complex industrial machinery. According to the analysis firm, Gartner, by 2020 we can expect over 26 billion devices to be connected to an IoT.

The Ericsson Report

The report, titled Exploring IoT Strategies, interviewed key employees from 20 multinational telecoms firms, and found that two thirds currently lack a totally defined IoT strategy. The report gathered responses on how the firms were currently approaching IoT, and how they imagined it would be utilised in the near future.

As well as gathering together opinions on IoT strategy, the report also outlined some key steps which need to be fulfilled if successful IoT frameworks are to be established. The most important steps in building successful IoT networks were deemed to be developing the necessary underlying infrastructures, and establishing ongoing management for the system.

According to Ericsson’s head of IoT, Jeff Travers, these networks could be a significant area of business investment in the very near future. “The report confirms the importance of IoT to the current and future business of leading service providers”, he added. 80% of the 20 firms involved in the survey wanted to push their IoT strategies further, and every participant believed that developing the technology would be a positive step for their business.

Challenges of IoT

The Ericsson report uncovered largely optimistic attitudes towards the possibility of greater IoT use, but the technology does not come without its challenges. One of these is security: in a network of interconnected devices, entire networks might end up being affected if just one element is breached. Another major issue will be handling the incredible amount of data which these devices will churn out. Keeping track of, storing, and analysing this kind of big data will pose a real challenge to companies investing in the IoT.

Despite these hurdles, Ericsson’s report suggests that more and more businesses are willing to implement the IoT, and tackle them head on.

The Future of IoT

According to Ericsson’s report, operator IoT businesses tend to be start-ups- but IoTs could become more central to larger firms as technology continues to develop. Among these operators, the technology was deemed most relevant to:

  • Automatic industrial processes
  • Managing fleets
  • Handling logistics
  • Creating networks of smart, or driverless cars
  • The possibility of “smart cities”

Most IoT operators also felt that the coming 5G networks would have a significant impact on the functions of IoT, but were unsure of the specific outcomes.

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