Key IoT technologies

Upcoming innovations in the area of IoT will focus chiefly on the connectivity and middleware layers, and will be driven mainly by solution providers.

Tangible impact all along the technical chain

A great many segments along the technical chain will be affected by the introduction of these new Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. They will affect the various layers:

  • Hardware: notably the new eUICC-embedded SIM cards.
  • Connectivity: the introduction of disruptive LPWAN network technologies – both unlicensed (led by Sigfox and LoRaWAN), and licensed using cellular frequencies (NB-IoT and LTE-M) – along with upcoming 5G cellular systems.
  • Middleware: include protocols such as MQTT and LWM2M that enable remote object management using standard protocols. • IT: analytics and big data tools.

Goal: to adapt to manufacturers’ constraints

Most of these technologies were designed to meet the challenges and imperatives of IoT, notably the need for low-power objects, scalability (potentially a billion objects in use), to satisfy industrial customers’ supply chain requirements and provide global coverage. Last but not least, they aim to become industry standards, which would accelerate their adoption by all vertical sectors, and around the globe.

Thanks to their specifications, these technologies will become a real driving force behind the IoT market’s development. They should thus be disseminated more quickly, which will give a real boost to IoT solution providers (module suppliers, telcos, IT companies) who, today, are the Internet of Things’ main promoters.

Some technologies are also benefitting from the backing of vertical market players – a prime example being eUICC-embedded SIM cards – by car and consumer electronics manufacturers, to satisfy their supply chain needs, notably at the assembly stage.

Widespread adoption will take time

All this will take some time, as proprietary technologies that are proper to certain industries are still being very widely used. Plus having applications that operate in a closed loop (data used only for internal purposes, within a silo approach) is not conducive to their replacement. When change does happen, the overall effect is positive, especially because these are standardised technologies. They thus have a massive and immediate impact on the market, starting with economies of scale.

Cellular IoT networks, including LTE-M, NB-IoT and 5G (very soon), which are in the early stages of their development, will enjoy the highest rates of growth.

Cellular IoT: fastest growing IoT technology
Horizontal technologies and designed for IoT
Priority vertical markets by access technology
Technology Vertical applications focus
eSIM Automotive, Consumer electronics
6LoWPAN Verticals with sensor-based applications
LPWA Verticals with sensor-based applications
Cellular IoT Verticals with sensor-based applications
LwM2M All verticals
MQTT Verticals with telemetry applications (smart city, utilities...)
Big Data All verticals
Source: IDATE DigiWorld in ''Key IoT technologies''