Where Will the IoT Go From Here?
October 31, 2018

The following is an article by Sequans excerpted from a new FierceWireless eBrief: Where Will the IoT Go From Here?

A link to the full eBrief can be found below.

While the rate at which the IoT is growing is a subject of debate, the fact remains that it is growing rapidly, and will continue to grow on to its inevitable result: a world where everything is connected. This includes everything from simple asset trackers and water meters to complex multi-featured wearables and agricultural systems.

“Low-power, wide-area wireless connectivity has been a major force in expanding the number of connections, just because of the technical characteristics of those technologies.”

– Sam Lucero, analyst, IHS Markit

Analysts all over predict nothing but growth for the IoT, and LTE will continue to be the primary technology connecting it. LTE is being deployed by virtually all of the world’s leading mobile operators – either LTE-M (eMTC), NB-IoT, or both – and the applications and devices coming to the market today continue to advance in capability, supporting global deployment and every application imaginable. According to Berg Insight, the top ten global mobile operators have 76 percent of the cellular IoT market, with 407 million active cellular IoT connections, and growing.

Advances in LTE chip technology have been driven by demand from IoT developers for solutions that can support complex IoT applications cost-effectively and that can deploy anywhere, and aren’t limited by carrier or geographic boundaries. That’s why LTE for IoT, with its unlimited range and ability to support worldwide deployment with a single hardware design, is so important. No other technology for IoT is as flexible, cost-effective, and powerful as LTE. The LTE-M and NB-IoT technologies are steadily replacing older 2G and 3G technologies. They’ve also reached the ultra-low power consumption and low-cost levels that will open the floodgates to widespread adoption.

Today’s LTE for IoT chips and modules are able to support virtually any application. There are single-chip solutions available now that integrate a powerful processor, along with a sensor hub, media processing engine, GPU and display controller. This allows them to enable applications supporting voice and music, graphical user interface, sensor data collection, location services, cloud communications, and edge analytics (Monarch SX).

There are also module solutions, some so highly integrated and optimized that they can be designed into the tiniest of IoT devices and have the ability to deploy and roam globally with a single SKU (Monarch SiP). LTE technology has advanced to such an extent that these highly integrated operator-certified connectivity solutions amount to “drop in” simplicity. They carry with them extremely reduced bill-of-materials and design effort, which enables even those IoT device designers without particular wireless expertise to connect their devices to the IoT via LTE quickly and easily.

While IoT in the early years will be remembered for its more simple applications, such as monitoring building conditions, tracking assets, or connecting lights and parking meters, the way is already paved for more and more sophisticated applications to reach the market quickly– and new ones are coming online daily. These include feature-rich wearables, complex medical and agricultural applications, and even pilotless cars, ships, and drones.

“IoT is moving from what we call ‘nice to have’ to ‘mission critical.’”

– Ivo Rook, SVP of IoT, Sprint

So in answer to the question, Where will the IoT go from here?, we can answer simply Everywhere. It will be in our homes, businesses, cities, farms, automobiles, oceans, forests, power grids, supply chains, factories, and highways. There is no stopping it.

You can download the entire FierceWireless eBrief here.

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