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Ericsson: How to Profit from 50 Billion Connected Devices

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February 14, 2014

Ericsson: How to Profit from 50 Billion Connected Devices

By Michael Guta, TMCnet Contributing Writer

A new whitepaper from Ericsson (News - Alert) addresses how the 50 billion connected devices that will be part of the world in 2020 can be monetized. According to the paper, everything that can benefit from a connection will have one, meaning it will be able to provide some type of service that can eventually be monetized.

While the potential for monetizing all these devices is there, it will require a connected world with broadband-enabled Internet access, networks that are independent of location, reduction in prices for communication modules, connectivity services and embedded computing to drive this new service and functionality.

Additionally a new standard has to be established that is open and simple in order to introduce more efficient business models. The disparate platforms that are currently in place have to be retooled to make this possible.

Coming to grasps with 50 billion connected devices might be difficult for many, but according to the paper some high-level macro-economic trends and statistics will make this possible. Some of the examples of the data points the paper gives for 2020 are:

  • 3 billion subscribers with sufficient means to buy information on a 24-hour basis to enhance their lifestyles and improve personal security. In mature markets, these customers will typically possess between five to 10 connected devices each.
  • 1.5 billion vehicles globally, not counting trams and railways.
  • 3 billion utility meters (electricity, water and gas).
  • A cumulative 100 billion processors shipped, each capable of processing information and communicating.

The connected world of 2020 and beyond will introduce intelligent transport solutions capable of speeding up traffic flows, reducing fuel consumption and saving lives. Smart grids will be able to lower energy consumption and introduce more renewable energy sources so they can be part of the grid. The healthcare industry will use its resources more efficiently with monitoring solutions that will provide convenient access to healthcare while raising quality of service and saving money.

In order to make this possible it will require the collaboration of public and private entities. The paper highlights six steps:

First, awareness by the ICT industry of the opportunities mobile conductivity and device management will provide for device-centric and service-centric applications.

Second, the draft of integration by the industry across network and access technologies so connectivity and services for these devices will be simple and seamless, with national and international roaming agreements and integrated payment systems.

Third, create tools to simplify application development with standardize common element of service to facilitate reuse of services and applications with common APIs.

Fourth, offer smooth reuse and dissemination of new functionality by employing and developing cloud computing solutions.

Fifth, service innovation in open development (app stores, open APIs, cloud-based capabilities) and "closed" application environments (device reuse, enablement of common functionalities to reduce costs, standardized interfaces in devices and for application enablers, cloud-based computing for cost efficiency, service-oriented architecture (SOA) and service orchestration tools such as composition).

Finally, the consumer applications introduced into the marketplace must create convenient, non-intrusive and intuitive solutions based on context awareness.

The success of this technology will depend on the industry incorporating relevant information and integrating and managing networks to provide service that is free of any compatibility issues and is capable of delivering an intuitive and simple communication and messaging. As the paper concluded, "The industry needs to understand how it can make devices network in a way that’s easy to understand and where interworking and operation match peoples’ mental picture of a network."

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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