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IoT Services Challenges

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IoT Services – Range 

The IoT will increase the range of services, each requiring varying levels of bandwidth, mobility and latency. For example, services that are related to public safety or personal safety will generally require low latency, but not high bandwidth per se. Alternatively, services that provide surveillance might also require high bandwidth.

Due to the differing level of service demand, mobile networks may need the ability to identify the service which is generating traffic and meet its specific needs. Alert services related to public safety or personal health would require a higher priority compared to metering information, which is a normal monitoring activity.

Levels of Mobility

Varying levels of mobility (the degree to which devices and applications need to be nomadic) is another important characteristic of IoT service demand. For nomadic services, location information and geo-fencing becomes a crucial enabler. Proximity services in general will play an important role in the IoT ecosystem.

In this context, the mobile network faces the challenge of being able to recognize different type of devices. In the automotive sector, only cars in the proximity of an accident need to be notified, rather than every vehicle.

Conversely, there are devices and applications that are not mobile by nature, such as a smart meter or a street lamp. Any movement of such devices/applications might indicate an anomaly in the service.

Same Type Devices

Another important characteristic of IoT services can be the deployment of a large number of the same type of devices and applications. Each device and application performs the same activity and transports information to a service centre at the same time.

Regardless of the amount of data transmitted by each device, this simple operation could cause network congestion. Mobile networks need to provide several mechanisms to protect and better utilize their capabilities for delivering such M2M/IoT services.

Mechanisms for remotely managing such devices and applications could allow intelligent scheduling, which would facilitate an appropriate application development and reduce the vulnerability of the network to application mis-behaviour.

Low Power

An additional feature of the IoT market is, that in some scenarios, devices and applications may be deployed and actively work for a large number of years, operating on batteries or using limited power. In this case, the communication module needs to consume very little energy to guarantee a longer device lifetime.

In summary, the IoT will require mobile networks to offer a much more diversified set of capabilities, while providing protection mechanisms for identifying and blocking any application mis-behaviour and guaranteeing all other services.

Mobile operators are working to identify these requirements and develop appropriate capabilities in order to support the vast range of IoT applications.

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