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Telecoms operators' approaches to M2M and IoT

Tom Rebbeck Research Director, Enterprise and IoT

Telecoms operators' approaches to M2M and  IoT

The opportunity for the Internet of Things (IoT) is extremely large with device connections globally forecast to reach billions and touching most, if not all, vertical markets. Telecoms operators should be at the heart of this change as many of these services will rely on networks they provide. To date though, operator strategies for IoT have tended to be, or at least to appear, tactical and ad hoc. Telecoms operators need to develop a sustainable long-term position with regard to the M2M market and the broader IoT opportunity. We believe that telecoms operators can do this by developing a flexible platform which will act as an enabler for IoT opportunities by providing a ‘menu’ of services to customers.

This paper explores the advantages and disadvantages of four different approaches telecoms operators are taking to M2M/IoT:

  • Approach 1: Selling connectivity only
  • Approach 2: Selling third party products
  • Approach 3: Selling internal products
  • Approach 4: Providing a broad menu of M2M services

The paper argues that telecoms operators can play a major role in M2M and IoT if they bring together existing capabilities (e.g. cellular connectivity, sales, hosting), add some new ones (e.g. LPWA, application enablement platforms) and provide a horizontal menu of services for their own and partner solutions.

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