Australia’s telecommunications industry body, Communications Alliance, has formed an Internet of Things think tank saying that the growth trajectory of IoT and its pervasive influence means that parts of Australia’s telecommunications regulatory framework may be rapidly overwhelmed or inhibit the national ability to reap the benefits of IoT.
Via the think tank Communications Alliance says that industry heavyweights and other expert parties will work with it to focus on:
– identifying and addressing regulatory and other enablers and inhibitors, to help create an environment that allows the full potential of IoT services and their cross-sectoral benefits to be realised in Australia;
– the opportunity for Australian companies to be early beneficiaries of new business models through IoT and for Australia to become a significant exporter of business solutions enabled by IoT.
Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton said that for the Australian economy and society, the rapid emergence of IoT represented both a significant opportunity and a very real threat, depending on whether and how the nation adapts to and harnesses the power and potential of the phenomenon.
“The proliferation and business relevance of the ‘Internet of Things’ and communications services based on the capabilities that a connected environment engenders, are growing rapidly worldwide,” he said.
“IoT is the next massive disruptor in the global communications environment and today we stand at the base of a growth curve that will steepen dramatically over the next 10 years.”
The IoT project will examine ‘Enablers and Inhibitors’ across several axes of influence. These include:
- Technology enablers such as:
- availability of a wide range of sensors;
- access technologies from low bit to high – predominantly wireless, but not necessarily mobile;
- networking protocols and platforms for creating IoT applications; and
- access to big data analytics capability
- Business drivers and enablers such as
- expansion of internal M2M initiatives to external customers;
- the cost of embedded wireless receivers; and
- service business models optimised for low bandwidth, wide coverage markets;
- Regulatory enablers and inhibitors such as
- Roaming Rules: Traditional roaming regimes and interconnect/revenue models were not designed to suit the demands of a globally-interconnected or notionally connected multitude of mobile sensors.
- Numbering Schemes: Numbers are a finite resource and the existing formats will be exhausted very quickly by IoT demand unless some accommodation is made.
- Data Sovereignty: The emergence of IoT creates an environment in which data will become available from a far more rich and diverse array of sources. Data streams from different countries, different vertical and from many more points within the value chain will enable a revolution in ‘big-data’ analysis and create solution platforms that are undreamt of today.
- Identity Management and Privacy: The value of data in cross-sectoral applications, such as health and insurance is apparent. However the efficacy of user consent to applications will be tested as will the meaning of privacy. These are issues under serious consideration overseas and will have ramifications in Australia.
- Access Security: As the value of data becomes more evident there will be new challenges around access security. IoT creates new opportunities for fraudsters. The boundaries between ‘research’ and ‘espionage’ may blur.
- Spectrum Allocation and Cost: The Australian Government is already undertaking a review of its spectrum management and allocation regime. An IoT environment may be significantly hampered by the application of traditional philosophies on how spectrum is priced and allocated.
- Access to Low Cost/Low Data Access Networks: IoT and M2M applications are often high frequency, how volume, low bit-rate in nature. Data network access models may need to be rethought to produce a ‘win-win’.
- The Commercial Value of Information: New commercial thinking is likely to be required as new IoT-based business models and opportunities emerge. ‘Analysis-as-a-Service’ could touch the commercial lives of every sector.