Powering IoT with low-power WAN in HK

Potential top IoT applications

With LPWAN technologies in place, a wide array of IoT applications is set to explode. Freight monitoring, meter management and asset tracking are likely to be popular use cases in Hong Kong.

“In Hong Kong, the largest single use case is freight monitoring from our view, accounting for almost half the IoT spend in Hong Kong out to 2020,” said Hugh Ujhazy (pictured, left), associate vice president and IoT practice lead for Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) at IDC. “Following this, smart metering, home security and manufacturing operations will round out the top use cases.”

In freight monitoring, sensors are placed on containers, pallets as well as individual high value items that are being shipped. Those sensors can collect temperature, movement, location, vibration plus other environment areas.

He estimated the total IoT spend in Hong Kong to be US$1.85 billion by 2020. The top vertical industries are likely to be transportation, utilities and smart city solutions.

Thinxtra’s Hankinson noted asset tracking (tracking temperature, humidity or velocity), meters reading (water, gas or electricity) and smart buildings monitoring (air quality or smoke alarms) are likely the top three applications in Hong Kong.

Cost saving, business generation and mandatory legal obligation are crucial for the wide deployment of an IoT application in a market or city, according to GS1 Hong Kong. The company actively promotes the innovation and adoption of IoT technologies among local enterprises.

“Whether an application can save operational costs, generate more business and revenue, and whether the government has stipulation of the deployment of an application are the key criteria,” said Edward Pang (pictured, middle), senior solutions manager of product & professional services at GS1.

Pang noted international or widely applied standards help with the development of IoT applications. Open standards and interoperability are important for users when contemplating IoT applications.

Which technology will become dominant?

Advocates of different LPWAN technologies are ramping up their efforts to embrace not only wireless networking but also applications based on IoT.

Industry practitioners noted it’s too early to say which technology will win. Each technology may appeal to different customers depending on user requirements and bandwidth consumption.