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How is IoT used in the Telecom Industry?

  • Ashesh Anand
  • Dec 28, 2021
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The Internet of Things (IoT) has progressed from a term to a solution with widespread use in homes and companies in recent years. Estimates show that by 2030, the number of IoT devices will have risen from 10 billion in 2021 to 25.4 billion. IoT devices have a lot of capabilities since they can link to larger networks. Retail, agriculture, and utilities are just a few of the industries that are using IoT solutions.


However, because IoT is heavily reliant on telecommunications providers, the telecoms industry stands to benefit the most. Mobile carriers have tremendous growth prospects thanks to new mobile IoT apps and services. According to projections, IoT would generate $1.8 trillion in income for mobile network operators by 2026. Because telecom revenues have been declining in recent years, this will be a huge boost.


With the Internet of Things, network providers must now make it easier for people and gadgets to communicate. Telecom businesses must develop novel services and applications to monetise IoT solutions. Adopting SaaS, BaaS, and PaaS models will aid in the improvement of business operations and the delivery of improved services to customers. As a telecom firm, you should figure out which IoT applications would benefit you the most and concentrate on them.


Watch this: Future of Telecom with 5G and IoT - Vodafone (CXOTalk interview #310)


IoT use cases in the telecom industry


The lucrative IoT in telecom offers telcos a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to monetize their data and branch out into other industries, offering projects and services beyond network connectivity. Service providers, on the other hand, will not be able to establish themselves as IoT leaders on their own.


CSPs can explore new prospects and IoT use cases in telecom by collaborating with other enterprises in the IoT ecosystem, allowing them to develop a wider range of services based on their unique assets. Intelligent networks, data analytics, IoT platforms, billing, CRM, and cloud services may be used in the telecom business for a wide range of industries, from manufacturing to healthcare.


(There are many Benefits of Big Data in Telecom Industry too. Explore them in detail)


Industrial monitoring systems


A staggering 87 percent of industrial companies intend to extend their use of IoT to better manage their resources and equipment in real time. Industry 4.0 presents a significant opportunity for telecoms to enter the industrial sector by enabling connection in intelligent supply chains.


Tailored network offers are one method for CSPs to profit from IoT in the telecom business. They link every component of the complex industrial environment, from temperature sensors to flow metres, to enable end-to-end supply-chain visibility, boost production efficiency, and save costs. 


T-Mobile was one of the first carriers to use the Internet of Things in telecom applications. To help industrial clients capitalize on the value of data in their warehouses, the business created the first Narrowband IoT network in the United States in 2018.


Smart cities and shared economy


The mainstays of smart city deployment are 5G and Narrowband IoT. As a result, CSPs form mutually advantageous public–private partnerships with municipalities, local governments, and universities to provide crucial services for digitising and integrating urban infrastructure.


Telecoms may play a variety of roles in the smart-city value chain, assisting in the development of efficient, inclusive, and connected environments while also increasing their income share. 


Operators may additionally expand their capabilities to provide data management and monitoring solutions, as well as establish branded customer-facing service delivery platforms, in addition to providing internet. 


The vast number of real-life use cases of telco cooperation in intelligent city initiatives demonstrates that the urban environment provides fertile ground for telecom operators. 


Hundreds of Tier-1 telecom players are upgrading cities throughout the world by delivering IoT-based solutions, including O2, AT&T, Telefónica, NTT Docomo, SK Telecom, and Deutsche Telekom.


(Explore how the 5G network is impacting IoT)



Smart homes and buildings


Telcos are also playing an increasingly important role in the smart home and construction industry. Telecom operators are promoting themselves as third-party resellers of customised consumer applications and services for this area, in addition to providing network resources and bandwidth to connect heating, utilities, air conditioning, alarms, locks, cameras, and appliances.


Comcast was one of the first telcos to invest in smart homes, adding Xfinity to its home entertainment portfolio. On a single dashboard, the service unites TV, internet, mobile, and home management. Other telecommunications companies are following Comcast's lead. 


In order to capitalise on smart home potential, they are forming partnerships with hardware and software vendors to develop linked home solutions. 


Telefónica Spain's recent collaboration with Microsoft to offer innovative AI-powered in-home experiences for customers, or Verizon's recent collaboration with Honeywell to incorporate the provider's LTE connectivity into smart metres, are just two examples.



Internal use of IoT


CSPs are also embarking on their own IoT journey in telecom, leveraging the potential of collected data to get critical insights into their internal operations. Telcos use complex software platforms to connect a variety of physical assets, combining their collective expertise to improve decision-making and generate prediction models.


Internally, telecommunications companies are utilising IoT technologies to increase efficiencies and maximise resource utilisation. For example, AT&T was able to reduce energy use in its buildings by 9 million kWh in a year thanks to IoT-enabled building energy management, saving nearly one million dollars. IoT data is also used by the provider to optimise supply chain management and improve vehicle fleet management.


(Must Read: AI in IoT - Benefits and Applications )


Watch this: IoT for Telecommunications & Base Stations

Future of value-added services and IoT in telecom industry


Telcos have reached a tipping point after establishing themselves as dependable connectivity providers. CSPs must rely on key assets like mature telecommunications infrastructure, remarkable data sets, and 5G-enabled connectivity.


This is to recapture the lead in the communications value chain with new, value-added offerings, as the breadth and profitability of traditional telecom services have plateaued. For any telco, though, battling competition on its own is not a feasible choice.


To compete with OTTs and take advantage of the Internet of Things' cross-industry, profitable prospects, telecom carriers must create an ecosystem of reliable and innovative technological partners. CSPs can only clear routes for sustainable growth and unlock new income streams based on modern IoT services by forming relationships with platform and software providers.




The Internet of Things (IoT) in telecommunications is a windfall for businesses in this field. However, now is the moment to overcome the current and future telecoms issues and worries. To achieve a competitive advantage in the market, IoT in telecommunications can assist extend and reach out for more inventive solutions.

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    Apr 30, 2023

    Great read! Definitely IoT and telecom analytics is going to play a major role in improving operations and delighting customers. https://www.tredence.com/industries/tmt

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