Internet of Things (IoT) Connectivity Protocols, Global, 2018

Adoption of New Connectivity Protocols Depends on Interoperability and Hybrid Solutions
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Published: 18 Jan 2018

With billions of connected devices expected to be in use in the world in the next 2–3 years, the importance of a critical component within the IoT ecosystem—connectivity—is only set to increase further. While the requirements of devices vary, the connectivity protocols that can enable IoT to leverage the applications and benefits are also evolving. From 2G, 3G to the now prevalent Long Range (LoRa) and Low Power (LPWAN) and the future technologies of 5G and NB-IoT are all vying with each other to meet these requirements. Almost all major verticals are now implementing or testing IoT applications to improve productivity and enhance user experiences. Smart health, smart home, smart energy, Manufacturing 4.0, and so on are just some of the traditional industries that are using IoT and altering their operations, products, and services. As companies realize the benefits and consumers demand better services, the use of IoT will increase further, which in turn means that connectivity protocols must be equipped to deal with the rising demand. Given that the cost component is a key deciding factor, providers are increasingly looking at low power and long range options that can help companies use connectivity devices to offer better services without an immense increase in costs or without incurring a high upfront investment. As research and development and testing of technologies such as NB-IoT, LTE-M and 5G forges ahead, governments and regulators globally, are also taking a keen interest to develop an environment that is conducive to growth and implementation. While regional trends are likely to be different, the trends do point toward rapid adoption despite challenges related to costs, compatibility, and interoperability. Clearly, the need for ecosystem stakeholders to work together is higher than ever before.

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