After a hugely successful Mobile World Congress, SysMech’s Mark Slinger shares his thoughts on the top three trends at this years event; Virtual Reality, 5G and the Internet of things. Published in VanillaPlus and IoT Now, Marks blog looks at how 5G is gaining momentum, and discusses some of the challenges operators are facing when it comes to managing the Internet of Things.
At MWC 2015 we saw many wearable IoT devices, with a heavy focus on fitness. This year however, aside from the Garmin open heart rate sports watch, there were very few new fitness products on show. What seemed to be more popular were IoT devices designed to act like a personal assistant. From Sony we saw the launch of the Xperia Agent, a device which can keep you up to date on your appointments, control you heating and even recognise visitors in the home.
But what was perhaps more prominent was not the devices themselves, but the networks to support them. Across the exhibition floor there were multiple discussions on how networks can actually handle the influx of data from IoT, with one clear strategy yet to be defined. In the US, dedicated IoT networks look to be leading the way, with Ingenu expecting 30 cities to be connected to their ‘Machine Network’ by the end of 2016. There is also hope that 5G will go some way to supporting the tremendous number of connections, but that is still a long way off.
It is clear that mobile network operators are still considering multiple strategies to cater to the growing requirements of the IoT, and this is likely to be a focus into, and beyond 2016. The recent result of the telecoms.com annual survey go a long way to support this, reporting that a whopping 86% of operators admit that they are not yet ready for the IoT.