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2011 Global - Internet of Things - A Business Game Changer

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Last updated: 17 Aug 2011 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 114

Analyst: Kylie Wansink

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the emerging Internet of Things environment and is a valuable resource of insights, examples and trends. It provides information on the key elements required for the development of IoT and explores some of the key applications already emerging around the world. Subjects covered include:

  • Key elements of The Internet of Things:
  • Telemetry, M2M and RFID;
  • Fast broadband;
  • Smart Grids;
  • Mobile broadband;
  • Key applications of The Internet of Things:
  • Cloud Computing;
  • Smart Transport;
  • Smart Cities, buildings and communities;
  • Mobile location based services.

Researchers:- Kylie Wansink, Paul Budde, Lawrence Baker, Lucia Bibolini, Peter Evans, Lisa Hulme-Jones, Paul Kwon, Henry Lancaster, Peter Lange, Stephen McNamara.
Current publication date:- August 2011 (1st Edition)

Executive Summary

IoT to transform economy and society

The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to be a real game-changer. It will transform every single sector of society and the economy; and it will be out of this environment that new businesses – and indeed new industries – will be born. The infrastructure that is now being built offers a range of features such as ubiquitousness, affordability, low latency, high speed and high capacity. It will link – apart from individual people – millions of devices, such as sensors, that will enable us to manage our environment, infrastructure, and our society as a whole much more efficiently.

The Internet of Things requires a co-ordinated approach which will encompass many different industries. Initially a trans-sector approach by utilities, telecoms, ICT and government is required to progress this concept further and other industries will continue to come onboard as it develops further.

Telemetry applications are expected to boom and are integral to the emerging IoT environment. Intelligent digital devices, which chatter away almost incessantly, machine-to-machine; are exchanging all kinds of information automatically and transparently to the people around them. This will mean that the global telecommunications network will soon resemble a worldwide computer network, rather than the voice-only mechanism for person-to-person communication it represented to its founders. RFID is an important telemetry tool for the IoT environment and it is already in widespread use around the world.

Increasingly, there is the understanding that the real value of the emerging super networks being developed is the formation of an IoT environment. There is also a slow realisation that the electricity grids are going to play an important role. BuddeComm estimates that 40-50% of the IoT will be related to the grid.  Ever since we became involved in the electricity utilities industry in 2001, we have been promoting telecommunications as the key to the next stage in the development of the electricity grid. However it was not until 2006 that we began to use the term ‘smart grid’. But even then telecommunications was not widely accepted as the key technology for the next development of the electricity network. Now, ten years later - but still very slowly, the notion of a smart grid driven by next generation telecoms (NGT) is beginning to become more accepted.

There are a number of applications already emerging as a result of more powerful networks, such as cloud computing; complex event planning; behavioural attitudinal geolocation and Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). The rapid increase of IPv6 is also important for the development of the various applications across the different sectors, as each power point, each sensor; each monitoring device will need an IPv6 address for it to be able to communicate with any other part in the global network.

One of the outcomes of the Internet of Things will be smart cities and smart communities. Many cities around the world are already heading in this direction and developing sophisticated projects based on e-health; e-government; e-education; smart energy and smart transport. Smart Transport Systems or Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) encompass a range of wireless and wired communications-based information technologies that can be integrated into transportation infrastructure and in vehicles.  ITS increases the safety and efficiency of transport networks and includes the software and hardware required for electronic vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication and information systems.

Cloud computing has a great future and will be a key application of the Internet of Things. The development of cloud computing takes the form of a business transition - and company strategies and policies will need to be changed before its potential can be fully monetised by businesses. Organisations need to start seeing ICT as more than just an infrastructure issue and rather as potential business opportunity. Cloud computing is becoming a valuable business tool – one that will differentiate one company from another.

Mobile technology will also be a key component in terms of its tracking and location abilities. Developments in Mobile Location Based Technology; RFID and geo-location should be closely watched. Key commercial uses for devices enabled by location based technologies include services such as emergency roadside assistance; traffic and navigation information; ‘enhanced’ information services; and location-sensitive billing.

BuddeComm’s new report, Global – The Internet of Things – A Business Game Changer, provides an important insight into the broad trend occurring known as The Internet of Things (IoT). The report initially provides a summary of the IoT concept and outlines the key elements required for its development including telemetry, fast broadband, smart grids and mobile broadband. It also explores some of the key applications for IoT, including cloud computing, smart cities, smart transport and mobile location based services.

Examples of key insights:

  • Most of us are now living in cities, and over the last century, cities that hold more than one million people have increased from 20 to 450 worldwide. It makes sense to explore what technology can do to ensure city communities are sustainable, efficient and enjoyable places to live.
  • Australia will be unique in that it will be among the first countries in the world to have a robust network broadband network (NBN) that will provide all the essentials needed for cloud computing, as well other services such as e-health; smart energy; e-education and so on. The NBN will also be a test-bed for cloud computing (and other services and applications) for overseas companies who need to build expertise and knowledge in this field.
  • Singapore has implemented a number of world-class Intelligent Transport System (ITS) solutions, from connected bus stops and roadside infrastructure, to pay-by-drive IP enabled solutions.
  • Mobile Location Based Services (MLBS) has become recognised as one of the services that wireless carriers will utilise with the creation of IP Multimedia System (IMS). Carriers are slowly proceeding towards an evolution from circuit-switched infrastructures to IP-based packet-switched infrastructures.
  • A wide range of businesses will adopt tracking solutions to monitor, schedule and route their vehicle fleets more effectively in the coming years.
  • The tracking of people through their mobile phones is also set to increase as concern over personal security outweigh reservations over privacy and as the controlled use of personal location information becomes more accepted.
  • The high growth of telemetry is fuelled by the convergence of wireless, computing and Internet technologies, which will create a range of affordable and practical applications. 

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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