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Telcos admit IoT is failing to meet expectations, as they are urged to understand customers’ business

  • Posted by admin on June 23, 2018

EXCLUSIVE REPORT: Three leading European telcos admit at the 6th IoT Forum CE, that many customers are still not aware of the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT). As one enterprise tells the C-Level operator panel, “You must show customers you understand their business, not just your own.”

Jeremy Cowan reports from a confessional Panel discussion in Vienna that attracted north of 400 delegates from 18 Central European countries.

In an inspirational Keynote address from Bela Virag, global head of Innovative Business Designs at analysts Arthur D. Little in Vienna, talked about the work of Australian incumbent network operator, Telstra who were invited to install 12 different camera angles at a UK football stadium, accessed by fans through their own app.

It soon became clear the service could be enhanced by increasing this to 40 cameras, each offering a real-time view of the match. Telstra then added the ability to order popcorn and drinks via the app, and today it can show you where the toilet queues are shortest, where to park when you arrive and much more.

So, Telstra have gone from selling connectivity to using their broader skills to innovate and launch brand new advertising-funded services for the connected consumer. Progress has often been so spectacular in business-to-business (B2B) Internet of Things (IoT) connections, that we can overlook the strides made in B2C (business to consumer) applications. Says Virag, “As IoT use cases evolve they start to require 5G. Operators are waiting for 5. Some customers are therefore building their own 5G in plants.”

Telcos may fail again

Clearly telcos still have a window of opportunity to capitalise on their customer knowledge and relations to bring new services enabled by 5th Generation mobile networks. But it’s a window that may be closing if the AD Little exec is to be believed – and I see no reason to doubt him.

Telco panel (L-R): Jan Trionow, Hutchison 3 Austria; Ingrid Wistrand, Tele2 IoT; Werner Kraus, T-Mobile Austria; Mladen Pejkovic, Atlantic Grupa, and Dr Karim Taga, AD Little

He gives four examples of non-telecom players moving into the 5G space. Ericsson and Comau are reportedly working on a 5G-based smart manufacturing solution, Facebook is rolling out its Terragraph network in San Jose, California to gain gigabit speed throughput, Scania and Ericsson are improving the efficiency of “platooning” trucks in a semi-autonomous convoy, and NEC is developing a smfart video security system based on automated surveillance and alarms.

The diversification message has clearly got through to Hutchison Drei Austria, and its CEO Jan Trionow. He tells the conference, “Transport, logistics, and vending payments; all were early adoptions of M2M (machine-to-machine) communications. Now we’re evolving our capabilities including international components. We have medical partners, risk management partnerships, and data analytics are very important.

On the other hand, Stockholm-based Ingrid Wistrand, deputy CEO of Tele2 IoT, says: “Our strategy from 2012 still holds.” Tele2 will continue to do what they do best; providing connectivity and IoT-enabling technologies such as security and analytics.

Werner Kraus, SVP of Business & Wholesale at T-Mobile Austria comments: “We widen […]

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