Coming soon, a number of objects in our lives will be connected, automatically sharing information and performing functions to save us time and hassle. Thermostats, fitness trackers, car door locks, toll booths, refrigerators, espresso machines, outdoor lighting – they’ll all be part of the Internet of Things (IoT).
But someone needs to be responsible for assuring they all stay connected. It’s the perfect opportunity for carriers to deliver more value than ever before. How?
– Provide stronger, more secure network bandwidth needed to connect millions of devices and users
– Carry a combination of sensor data and personal information
– Allow interaction between sensors and networks
– Connect new and legacy sensors within the IoT ecosystem
To deliver this value, carriers need to closely collaborate with the companies that are developing the new generation of devices, appliances, and other “things.” Together, both parties need to overcome legacy issues, and understand how sensors and networks can best integrate with IoT deployments around the globe.
But opportunities come with inherent challenges. With the IoT, carriers must adjust business models from fees based on traffic volume to fees based on level of performance. That means developing networks that guarantee data communication 100% of the time, with the super-fast speed customers demand.
Without question, carriers have to correctly price their services. Unfortunately, they often undercharge to cover the major costs of serving clients, and spend more time on business development than getting paid accordingly for premium services.
When carriers charge for traffic, revenues may not reach what they anticipate since data prices will decrease over time. But when they charge for performance, they’ll grow revenue and have surplus to continually enhance their networks.
From a technological standpoint, they have to assure that IoT applications function as intended, collecting information from both the sensors and devices and making it uniform as new technology enters the market.
Whatever the challenges, carriers have many opportunities to capture the full potential of the IoT.
Marketing departments will have data to drive targeted campaigns for new services. They can leverage user profiles to offer customized and add-on services, as well as services based on specific user needs.
As a whole, carriers that jump fast out of the gate with IoT services will become the leaders in the category. They’ll retain existing customers and be positioned as the obvious choice to attract new customers.
And since carriers always need new ways to increase sales and customer satisfaction, it’s obvious for them to become an integral component of the IoT.