A new report from ABI Research and InterDigital has suggested that carriers should embrace new strategies to form their position within the IoT and remain competitive.
“The deployment of open standards-based platforms, solutions, and approaches is the only way to unlock more value faster from IoT markets and, at the same time, allows adopting new business models, opening up new roles for carriers, such as aggregators and orchestrators of IoT ecosystems and market places,” the report noted.
Carriers will have to decide if they want to develop IoT and smart cities platform capabilities in-house, or to source them from specialised vendors, the report notes.
ABI Research recommends four strategies that carriers can implement in their businesses:
- By developing smart cities or IoT platform capabilities in-house, carriers can customise technology and optimise integration, but it requires high development costs (OPEX/CAPEX) as well as expertise
- Carriers who choose to source IoT technology have multiple choices from hundreds or IoT platforms, which is confusing. The selection process is complicated and may require revenue sharing with selected partners
- By offering end-to-end services or if the carriers choose to take the role as a tech service provider for IoT or smart city services, they can capture a larger value share. But it is also important to remember that it is complex and involves a strategy, and takes more time to market
- Carriers can get benefited by foraying into wider technology and end market ecosystems and adopting open source approaches and smart city standards. This allows them to take on aggregator and orchestrator roles
This is by no means the first industry report to call out operators for their strategies around the Internet of Things (IoT). Last month, the GSMA argued that as connectivity will only comprise 5% of the total IoT revenue opportunity by 2025, more revenue streams are needed.
Another report, titled ‘The Emerging Role For Smart Homes In The Smart City’ by ABI Research, has found that the growing power of smart home devices and services will increasingly extend their influence outside of the home and into wider smart city programmes. It states that smart home and smart city providers will increasingly leverage the overlap between these two traditionally separate markets as smart home services provide a ready and expandable Smart City IoT resource; this is expected to happen over the course of next five years.