Research suggests that Internet of Things (IoT) is the next big thing in technology and this technology is steering towards pervasive connectivity and transformation. As a matter of fact IoT sensors and devices are expected to exceed mobile phones as the largest category of connected devices in 2018, growing at a 23% compound annual growth rate from 2015 to 2021. Ericsson predicts there will be a total of approximately 28B connected devices worldwide by 2021, with nearly 16B related to IoT. Billions of connected devices mean big opportunities. (Source: Ericsson Mobility Report)

The IoT will soon take one of the biggest cuts in revenue; it will be a smart move for telecommunications companies to embrace IoT. Telecommunications companies must define a strategy to support the proliferation of this technology. Businesses will need to be reimagined around the IoT and focus on providing services and products around it. Telecommunications companies must focus on creating new core capabilities around business solutions design and delivery, platform delivery and ecosystem building for success in the IoT era.

Some telecommunications companies in Australia have started developing strategies through greater and wider connectivity because of high demand for communications and a means to transport information from source to destination. Expansion of coverage is one way to get started. Telecommunication providers are in a position where their service will be largely needed in the expansion of IoT in the coming years. The use of telecommunication networks for calls and SMS has grown and evolved to cover a variety of data plans which eventually will need upgrade to support the growing number of connected devices in IoT. Telecommunication companies must look into the possibility of IoT and how they can manage it as it emerges and becomes a necessity in the future.

In the IoT chain of value, telecommunications plays a key role. The possible roles range from being a traditional connectivity provider (infrastructure) all the way to being an end-to-end solution provider (content based service delivery). On the other hand, the key challenges of telecommunications in IoT will include technical issues such as connectivity requirements of massively rolled out IoT devices which must be supported by telecommunication companies. Right now, telecommunication companies are looking to move to 5G which is still a costly and long process, but this is where IoT will be a key part of the strategy.

Overall, the business opportunity for telecommunication companies is seen to be in a favorable position in the advancement of IoT. The revolution of IoT will soon require an increase in secure and wider coverage in connectivity which is a great opportunity for telecommunication providers. However, as the world embraces this advanced technology, the telecommunications sector must also prepare for all the possibilities of challenges in the existence of IoT.