A New Channel for IoT: Mobile Operators' Unique Approach
By Telecom Tech Outlook | Tuesday, April 09, 2019
Predominantly, two wireless technologies are expected to power the Internet of Things (IoT), and one of those is completely in control of the mobile operators (MOPs). For in-home IoT devices, Wi-Fi is the preferred technology, but cellular service is preferred for wide-area IoT device access in town. A satellite can be used as a wide area option for a few applications, but it is not feasible in terms of low device cost and low power draw. MOPs are boosting the availability of IoT focused network services like Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and LTE Cat M1; their more significant contribution must be in giving a sales channel for packaged IoT solutions.
The lag in growth of smartphone sales was recognized, and MOPs are hoping to recharge the wireless industry with IoT lines. These lines might not generate monthly revenue similar to smartphone lines, but the potential numbers are massive, and the revenue stream is stable than consumer lines. MOPs are adding many third-party IoT apps to their product line to propel the IoT. Tier 1 MOPs are giving more than 70 product offerings, including mobile dispatch, mobile device management, fleet management, mobile data collection, and much more. In a few cases, the offerings may address a single application, whereas other offerings might combine analogous functions like mobile dispatch and fleet management. The offerings hold significant appeal from a customer standpoint. The services are contained as a packaged deal, where the monthly per-device price will include network services, endpoints (compatible smartphone apps), and IoT application.
The MOPs offer consulting and design services that can support the customers in developing wide-reaching solutions that can merge with existing applications and provide transformative impact, but it greatly restricts the potential buyer pool. MOPs have access to extensive sales resources, but the salesperson needs an incentive to seek this opportunity. App sales are entirely different from all the aspects when a smartphone and a data plan are sold; the seller will not care about how the products are used. In-app sales solution is provided to the customer, and it must fit in with the consumer’s needs, overall operations, and business processes. MOPs are set up to be the key distribution channel and launch pad for IoT. They are expected to get their network plans that can coincide with their app aspirations.