A new year has barely settled in, and already, the IoT (Internet of Things) is fueling changes in the telco industry. According to Gartner, the 8.4 Billion connected "Things" in use today will balloon to an unprecedented 20.4 billion by 2020. The largely consumer-fueled growth will be driven by three regions: North America, Western Europe, and mainland China.
Mobile devices continue to rapidly increase in number and accessibility. Almost half a billion (429 million) mobile devices and connections were added in 2016 alone1. They’ve become ingrained into our lives, from helping us keep track of our contacts and updating our meeting and activity calendar, to snapping complex panoramic or burst photographs, to serving as the vehicle for a complex multimedia presentation streamed around the world.
Nearly 30 years ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the wireless trade association CTIA, started a conversation about the need for wireless location-based services. It wasn’t until 1988 that the FCC agreed on the ruling to require wireless carriers to enable subscriber location tracking through cell towers to be used for emergency response systems— and it would take yet another 10 years before we saw the advent of the “text message” and another 14 years for emergency alerting to become what it is today in our hyper-mobile world.
After years of anticipation, many Americans watched as the “Great American Solar Eclipse” made its way across the continental U.S. yesterday for the first time in 99 years. Researchers predicted it to be one of the most watched solar eclipses in history and experts warned of the potential affect it would have on cellular traffic and signal availability and network congestion within the areas along the “path of totality” and across the country.
The proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with numerous potential benefits. Baby monitors, smart meters, even the connected car are all made possible by IoT technology. With this, the sheer volume of IoT connected devices is projected to explode in coming years, surpassing even the number of mobile handsets we use today.