Verizon VP outlines ‘three key issues’ to IoT adoption
Speaking from the Wireless Infrastructure Association’s HetNet Expo in West Palm Beach, Fla., Verizon Vice President of IoT Connected Solutions Mark Bartolomeo highlighted why, after more than a decade of pushing, the internet of things is finally seeing widespread adoption by enterprises of all sizes.
“The enterprises are really moving from their early adopter phase to full deployments,” he said, calling out the energy, health care, smart city and pharmaceutical industries. “They have proven the business case and they have total cost of ownership well-defined. With the improved business case, we are seeing small-, medium-sized enterprises begin to deploy.”
So what’s causing this acceleration? Cost, platforms and security, Bartolomeo said. Let’s take those one at a time.
To the cost piece, he highlighted work Verizon has done with pharma companies in tracking high-value assets like vaccines, which have to be monitored for temperature to remain viable, and similarly be guarded against supply chain intrusions that perpetuate the black market for drugs.
Bartolomeo said the devices needed to track pharmaceuticals, not too long ago, cost around $300. “Not a big issue for the pharmaceutical companies,” given the value of the asset. But, with the introduction of LTE-based Cat M connectivity, “that module would be somewhere around $48–big cost drop.” With the advent of narrowband-internet of things (NB-IoT) connectivity, “We’ll see that get down into the $20 range. The reason this is important for us is the cost of connectivity…significantly expands the addressable market. For the internet of things to grow, we need to be able to track everyday items. We’re getting there very, very quickly.”
“We believe that the IoT platforms are critical, and it has to be able to support these heterogeneous networks,” Bartolomeo continued. For the IoT to scale, platforms can’t just support one carrier or one type of spectrum. “We’ve seen IoT platforms that are being deployed are supporting all network topologies. We have to have the ability to run these applications on top of all the different network topologies. IoT is going to be leveraging all network assets.”
And security–“The number one barrier people are concerned about,” he said. “How can we build in security starting at the device. Devices are coming into the marketplace today, they don’t have security [built-in]; anyone can sell an IoT device and put it into the market.” This is why standardized, interoperable security protocols, certificate services and two-factor authentication, for instance, are imperative.
Pervasive IoT adoption, built on standard, secure, interoperable devices as a result of cross-industry collaboration on all fronts, “This is where we end up if we get it right,” Bartolomeo said.