Over the last decade, our understanding of “connected things” has evolved in parallel with the transformation from networking to NFV, and communications has been moved into the cloud – for good.
It was around the turn of the century that what we originally called “telematics” became known as machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity, in a world where fleets of trucks, cars and other assets are all monitored and managed using primarily satellite and connected sensors.
IP changed everything. The more mobile capacity came online, the more things could be connected via radio and cellular networks, as well as growing WiMax and WiFi platforms. In line with Moore’s Law, the price of connectivity was reduced as capacity became more commoditised. The price of sensors dropped and innovation exploded with increasingly sensitive and reliable components for everything, from wellness wearables to smart consumer appliances, were mass-produced.
The growth of M2M has rapidly surpassed the adoption rate of telematics, and the advancement of smartphones and mobile services inevitably led to an entirely new ecosystem and economic boom, giving birth to what we now recognize as the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) which leads us to the Internet of Everything – and Everybody.
We’re now headlong into an LTE world, where networks move data around at an unprecedented rate, and we benefit from the billions of dollars in investments into the transformation of networks defined by software that’s been virtualized and harmonized, and central offices that have been transformed into mini-data centers. All of this laying the groundwork for innovation.
With inventions that are securing end-points (ie. billions of sensors), protecting data in motion, improving the performance of connectivity solutions, and orchestrating almost every aspect of our lives – how can human beings function when they are not only connected to each other, but also to their “things”, starting from the moment they wake up, to the moment they fall asleep.
Maybe our Machine-to-Human and Human-to-Machine communications will eventually become as intuitive as breathing.
While many people in the telecom industry have been worried about the decline in the use of Voice as a communication option, what they may have missed is that Voice is actually on the rise – when it is embedded into the flow of communication services.