Telecom operators are looking forward to new and exciting opportunities related to IoT. This motivates them to rethink their strategies and embed digital into their core business models, especially the B2B market. 

IoT in Telecommunications

The ever-growing number of digital natives living the “always-on” lifestyle is driving the demand for connected devices, which already number more than 20 billion worldwide.

 The evolution of Industry 4.0 and the pursuit of automation are further driving the adoption of intelligent business solutions.

In this environment, telecom companies have an advantage over their competitors because they have the resources to manage and connect ubiquitous IoT devices on their networks. Many are already active in this area, offering IoT connectivity, sensors, devices, and applications to create new value-added telecommunications services. 

Main IoT Use Cases in Telecom

IoT in telecommunications offers telecom companies a unique chance to monetize their existing data and enter new industries by providing initiatives and services that go beyond network connectivity. 

However, telecommunication companies can’t go it alone to reposition themselves as IoT leaders.

By combining forces with other companies in the IoT ecosystem, CSPs (Communications Service Provider) can explore new opportunities and options for using IoT in telecommunications to develop a broader range of services based on their unique assets. 

Industrial Monitoring Systems

The emergence of Industry 4.0 offers telecommunications a significant opportunity to penetrate manufacturing by providing connectivity in intelligent supply chains.

One way for CSPs to capitalize on IoT in the telecommunications industry is through specialized network offerings. They connect every element of a complex manufacturing ecosystem, from temperature sensors to flow meters, to provide end-to-end supply chain visibility, improve production efficiency and achieve cost savings. 

Smart Cities and the Sharing Economy

5G and Narrowband IoT are the foundation for implementing smart cities. Therefore, CSPs enter into mutually beneficial public-private partnership agreements with municipalities, local governments, and academia, acting as providers of critical services to digitize and integrate urban infrastructure.

Telecommunications companies can play multiple roles in the smart city value chain, supporting the development of efficient, inclusive, and connected environments and maximizing their revenue share. In addition to providing broadband, carriers can expand their ability to deliver data management and monitoring solutions and create branded customer-centric service delivery platforms. 

Smart Homes and Buildings

Telecommunications companies also play an essential role in the ever-growing smart homes and buildings market. In addition to providing network resources and bandwidth to connect heating, utilities, air conditioning, alarms, locks, cameras, and appliances, telecom carriers are positioning themselves as third-party resellers of specialized consumer applications and services for this segment.

Comcast was one of the first carriers to invest in the smart home, expanding its home entertainment portfolio with its Xfinity service. This service combines TV, Internet, voice, mobile communications, and home control on a single panel. Other telecom companies are also following in Comcast’s footsteps. To monetize the capabilities of the smart home, they are choosing to partner with hardware and software vendors to develop connected home solutions. 

IoT for the Healthcare Sector

 IoT makes it possible to monitor and manage people’s health with chronic or age-related illnesses and create new, highly profitable remote healthcare services based on advanced technology and connectivity.

The most significant examples of Telco IoT use in remote healthcare include the delivery of remote asset management platforms, devices and solutions for remote disease diagnosis, and intelligent incident management systems. Telecom operators create secure, reliable, and resilient networks to connect an ecosystem of smart applications and devices. At the same time, their business partners deliver the hardware and software infrastructure.

Due to the sensitivity of the data and the complexity of the technology, the implementation of IoT in medicine requires a significant investment. However, the social impact of these implementations is outstanding. 

The Future of IoT in Telecommunications

Having established themselves as reliable communications service providers, telecommunications companies have reached a tipping point. As the scale and profitability of traditional telecommunications services have reached a breaking point, CSPs must build on core strengths – advanced telecommunications infrastructure, impressive data sets, and 5G-enabled connectivity – to once again take the lead in the communications value chain with new value-added offerings. 

Final Thoughts

Undoubtedly, IoT presents telecom companies with numerous potential revenue streams that can significantly improve business performance. As much as this is a good thing, it can also be your undoing. Telecom companies need to determine which IoT avenues are most beneficial to them and develop a comprehensive strategy to capitalize on. Otherwise, they face the risk of losing out to competitors in their bid to consolidate market share.