The Internet of Things (IoT) Series (I): Mobile telco operators

Posted on 21/02/2017 by Jay Banghar


The Internet of Things (IoT) helps businesses meet the changing needs and expectations of their customers with new services, experiences and business models that deliver bottom line growth. For example: In Hong Kong, SmarTone’s leadership as a total service provider – including Cloud, Mobile, Fixed, ICT and IoT services – makes it an ideal partner to serve innovative businesses pursuing IoT in Hong Kong. I recently spoke with a well versed candidate who has over 25 years of mobile technology services and solutions experience with the likes of Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola. He shared with me the latest insight into mobile network IoT and how LTE has enabled the growth of IoT services. Read on!

How IoT Drives Real Business Results

He discusses that IoT is a concept that can be realized with existing radio technology. The point is how can you translate a real business into the real world? ie: smart grid/metering  or connected vehicles which are able to access information in real time while driving and send the information to the cloud for data analysis.

“What operators own are the mobile networks which are essentially the radio signals which cover the area. If you have something to connect back to the centralized servers, you can install an IoT device/sensors to connect and send the data back to the network.”  This is already in place, so it is more important to put data into real business scenarios.

Mobile IoT is important as telco service providers today do not want to only be a carrier company and not getting revenue from the end user. For example, Netflix sells content to end users and they reap the revenue but the carrier is only acting “as a form of transport”.  This is why IoT is definitely one area to capitalise. It seems that newer technologies like SigFox and LoRa are already conflicting technologies with IoT as it is not the same with what local mobile operators are using as LTE/5G which are more mainstream. SigFox and Lora are using certain frequency band and proprietary to capture the market. The IoT model that is being used area differentiates from the typical LTE (4G) solutions.

Interestingly, the goal of LoRa or SigFox is that mobile network operators adopt their technology for IoT deployments over both city and nationwide for low power, wide-area types of networks (LPWANs). 

The Role of Managed Connectivity

The meaningful IoT business outcomes that are being achieved across various industries worldwide are only possible through managed connectivity. By automating communication between people, things and systems, managed connectivity enables the secure, anytime, anywhere relationship businesses need to have with their customers. Singapore being a developed country, is a good environment to develop solutions which the government wants to encourage to develop solutions from the typical solutions. For sustainability, you need to look at the eco-system, not only operators but also handsets vendors that are being used by end user for their buy in to develop solutions.

It is clear that we are at the beginning of an exciting new wave of distruption within the traditional telco carrier buisness model. But is IoT the answer to bring new life into the much needed Telco carrier industry?

Let me know what you think here and stay connected with me!

Jay Banghar

+65 6589 8787​