Defining the IoT Ecosystem Opportunities & Hurdles with the Evolution of LTE
IoT and The LTE Opportunity Panel
This panel discussion will focus on exploring Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) that have emerged from LTE standardizations (CAT-1, CAT-M, NB IoT) and the associated IoT opportunities within remote monitoring, big data, security and more. If you have questions regarding your transition of 2G devices to CAT M or NB IoT or are exploring the IoT for a future deployment, this is the panel to hear from the leaders in IoT today.
Bill Kramer, VP of Advanced Technology Adoption at Kore; Dermot O’Shea, Co-Founder/Joint CEO at Taoglas; Joel Young, VP of Research and Development and CTO at Digi, were the panelists for a discussion focused on LPWAN’s that have emerged from LTE standardizations. This session was moderated by Martha DeGrasse who is the Managing Editor at Enterprise IoT Insights.
To start the panel, Martha poses the question, “Which LTE is driving new business the most right now?”. Dermot responds by saying that there is a huge demand in the US especially for LTE, but at the same time, there is a large desire for CAT-M. CAT-4 and CAT-1 modules have an 80% demand, while there are 20% of customers who want higher speeds just because it is available. Power consumption and pricing structures have really driven CAT-M to the top most recently in the IoT space. Both Joel and Bill see a very similar trend in the market of the use cases for LTE-M and CAT-M taking a high position in customer demand.
The next question posed asks each panelist to indicate a use case and a roadblock for LTE and the different entrants of it. An interesting use case presented by Dermot involved Big Belly Solar and the work they did in making trash cans on the street “smart devices” effectively saving cities hundreds of thousands of dollars with a simple idea. A big roadblock mentioned, however, is certification. It is standard across the board regardless of the device which can be unnecessary and very time-consuming. Joel speaks of a customer who deals in street lighting and very amazing applications to interconnect and provide communication between lights. This allows for use only when needed or necessary as a car would drive down the highway. This solution saves energy and increases public safety. An important hurdle that must be overcome is ‘simplicity’ for customers to understand and see the important applications and how these things are stitched together. Bill agreed that informing a customer of the different use cases for the different devices is very important when making a decision on the different types of LTE and connectivity to be used. A good use case is fleet and asset tracking because many are trying to move off of 2G and 3G and onto LTE variants because a lot of times they can’t cost justify the expense of a full LTE module.
Pricing for modules and carrier prices now are unbelievable. They can save you so much time and money according to Dermot. Joel is a little disappointed however because he believes that a decrease in pricing needed to happen earlier in order for some of the things, that have now accelerated, to take off. People get so caught up in pricing that they don’t see the extreme benefits even if the pricing now was double or triple what it is now. Bill finishes by explaining how these companies are implementing this technology to transform their business processes, which translates to increased revenue and increased customer satisfaction.
Questions on security is a huge concern in this industry. Many opportunities have been lost due to security concerns and people fearing the government or agencies are spying on them which makes things difficult on sellers to get these devices generalized and into the market. All of the panelists mention how it is forefront in their minds and their customers’ minds to keep things secure and how to not only provide those solutions but to educate the customers on their security measures as well.
Martha DeGrasse, Managing Editor at Enterprise IoT Insights