September 2019 IoT news

By Pilgrim - September 16, 2019

This is my sixth monthly IoT update.

Analysts AGC released a great report this month into Enterprise IoT (free, behind a sign-up) and - based on adoption rates - they are “calling” the tipping-point in this market as 2020 (as btw are Gartner). AGC’s segmentation of the IoT market into Industrial/Commercial/Consumer makes a lot of sense to me (DevicePilot’s traction is mainly Commercial) - and matches the segmentation that Stacey Higginbotham used in her recent article “There are 3 types of IoT”.

Speaking of Stacey, after publishing our discussion of the Minimal Viable Ecosystem last month, she then interviewed Gaye and me on her 232nd IoT podcast this week (all well-worth listening to, our bit starts at 36’00).

Various interesting snippets I’ve learned recently:

  • UK operators are requesting planning permission for taller towers so 5G can offer better long-range coverage in the countryside (will they fill the multiple not-spots on my Cambridge-London commute?)
  • All previous “G”s have had a careful plan for cell size, placement and frequencies which stays largely static thereafter, but 5G is designed to do infill on-demand, so when a cell reaches capacity an operator can just add a new cell nearby - it's called "network densification".
  • Did you know that AT&T has already turned-off 2G in the USA, and it’s been switched-off entirely across Japan & Korea to free-up spectrum for 5G?
  • Our partner POD Group predicts that LPWAN may cause the downfall of some MVNOs.
  • I had an interesting catch-up with Iotic Labs recently, who are bringing their digital twin service to large enterprises.
  • When I first heard of CryptoQuantique I thought that maybe they were doing quantum cryptography, but now realise that they’re delivering very high-entropy on-chip PUFs (physically-unclonable functions) – great for generating super-secure IoT keys.

Several recent conversations with colleagues across the industry continued the theme that “no-one can do IoT alone”: both profitable companies entering the IoT space and newer venture-funded IoT startups are finding customer progress slower than they want because customers need a complete solution yet each vendor only has part of the solution. The good news is that customers generally aren't looking for bespoke turnkey solutions, they do buy into the vision of “IoT as open ecosystem” because ultimately they want be able to swap-out pieces of the solution fairly easily – but at the start of their journey they often want to make a single vendor responsible for pulling it all together.

This should be good news for Systems Integrators and implies we should expect market consolidation soon as the bigger players flesh-out their capabilities.

I’ve just finished reading the 100th anniversary edition of Richard Aldrich’s book “GCHQ” which shows how the challenges of communications have evolved from cryptography to cyber-security, and finishes by citing IoT as the biggest upcoming threat. A fascinating tale I learned from the book was that as foreign governments became aware of our successes against Enigma in WWII they started buying 3rd party cryptography machines from the likes of Crypto AG in Switzerland. So in the 1950’s GCHQ & NSA secretly bought a stake in Crypto AG and weakened its encryption - and this was still bearing fruit as late as the 1990 Gulf War I, when Saddam Hussein started to distrust the encryption built-in to his UK-built Racal radios … so switched to using Crypto AG.

The latest DevicePilot feature is programmatic access to KPI results - so now your custom application can easily ingest live DevicePilot analysis to use in its own UI or to inform further analysis and action.

That’s all for now, do send me your news for next month, and if you happen to be in London next week then do grab a ticket to Deploying IoT for Dummies.

-Pilgrim
CEO, DevicePilot

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