Going Beyond Connectivity in an
Evolving IoT Ecosystem

The flexibility of 5G and its ability to support enormous device versatility, massive bandwidth throughput, and ultra-low latency provide the perfect conditions to underpin new IoT services.
connectivity, service providers have a real opportunity to provide robust device management, value-added services, data collection and analytics for various enterprise verticals. These capabilities can help end users drive business decisions, gain valuable insights into connected devices, and realize CAPEX savings.

Given the sheer number of B2B2X applications and various maturity of the devices on the network, security and upgradability at each layer of the solution will need to be considered as part of the design. IoT security will need to consider both aspects of the physical and logical connectivity needs to create isolation layers and leverage AI to detect when aspects of the connectivity are not as they should be.

Operators prepare for IoT

While 5G is garnering most of the headlines when it comes to enabling IoT connectivity, there are other access technologies available for operators to leverage in their IoT deployments. Let’s examine the best practices and common themes operators face in their evolution beyond connectivity in the pursuit of new revenue models.

5G network operators

The flexibility of 5G and its ability to support enormous device versatility, massive bandwidth throughput, and ultra-low latency provide the perfect conditions to underpin new IoT services.

First, operators in this scenario should determine the IoT use cases and business verticals they wish to address. Taking the time to properly evaluate which use cases to pursue based on market demand and the necessary technology is critical to avoid fragmentation, reduce upfront costs, and accelerate time to market. It is imperative to avoid building vertical-specific solutions that lack reuse for other applications. For example, the needs for fleet management may differ entirely from the needs in smart agriculture. A pre-packaged solution with an easily customizable user interface that can be adapted to multiple IoT verticals on a shared infrastructure is key to boosting the end-user experience and service uptake.

Second, it will be vital for operators to coordinate all of the pieces that make up the IoT value chain. When launching IoT services, an operator will encounter various players who previously did not interact. Synergy among these IoT ecosystem players will be needed for the design, implementation, and market launch of an end-to-end IoT platform and the ongoing management of services and resources. When onboarding new IoT devices or performing service quality troubleshooting, ensuring collaboration among the players will help maximum SLA adherence. What’s more, with this significant shift in architecture, service providers should consider impacts to customer management, partner management, product catalog, and analytics, and ensure 5G-ready policy and convergent charging systems.

Third, given the sheer volume of devices, geographic disparity of sensor locations, and strict SLAs, IoT deployments require complete hands-off process automation of device lifecycle management, including onboarding, zero-touch provisioning, remote configuration, and diagnostics, as well as service management to address service quality and faults, such as delayed telemetry, connectivity issues, and KPI threshold crossings. From an administrative point of view, not only is it about managing IoT service needs, but it is also important to consider regulatory and security requirements. Utilizing a multi-tenant architecture can help deliver self-care tools to your B2B customers and provide segmentation for customer support and network operations to limit control to only the resources for their allocated domain.

Operators delivering IoT services over 4G LTE

For operators currently delivering IoT over 4G today using LTE-M or NB-IoT that are planning to move to 5G, rolling out higher revenue-generating services and ensuring


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