UK based research firm, FC Business Intelligence has published a study At the crossroads: are mobile operators ready for IoT? in which it presents the views of four leading industry figures on this question.
They are: Simon Boyd, M2M channel business manager, Telefónica; Richard Cornish, head of IoT, Xchanging; Thomas Nicholls, head of marketing & communications, Sigfox; Ludovic Lassauce, head of enterprise marketing, Ericsson.
FC says: “The assumption has been that mobile network operators (MNOs) will be the principle enablers and beneficiaries of the approaching era of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and, more broadly, the Internet of Things (IoT). They have the networks and the business models for billing millions of subscribers who make calls, send texts and consume data. What’s more, they have made inroads into offering an international service. But is the assumption correct?”
However, it adds: “Some influential players in different parts of the IoT value chain are not convinced. They say MNOs have yet to break out of the SIM-card-shifting mindset and overcome significant cultural and technical barriers if they are profitably to ride the IoT wave.
Summing up the views of the contributors, FC says: “Although they approach M2M-IoT from different perspectives, all four panellists contributing to this briefing note seem to agree that MNOs cannot quite take their position as incumbent enablers for granted. … Whether it is fifty billion devices waiting to be connected or five hundred billion, the opportunity is huge. Clearly, MNOs are at a crossroads in the development of M2M-IoT, although something more like a spaghetti junction may be the more apt metaphor.