“LPWAN will be segmented into uses cases, depending on the bandwidth consumption of each,” noted IDC’s Ujhazy. “Real time applications like V2X (vehicle-to-everything) and video monitoring will tend to use high bandwidth low latency solutions. Others like smart lighting and parking management which tolerate higher latency and communicate less frequently will tend to use low power and will make decisions based on cost and coverage.”
Hankinson believes Sigfox can operate and coexist with NB-IoT. “That’s the ecosystem we now look into, getting whatever works best for customers. Gone are the days of big operators or government telling customers what they are going to get.”
GS1’s Pang noted no single technology fits all organizations perpetually. “In this era of continual emergence of disruptive technologies, there may not be one dominant technology nor will one technology’s popularity maintain for long.”
Pang suggested users to focus more on how the data captured from IoT devices could be easily identified, shared and used in different applications.
Key driving factors
Security, cost and edge computing’s maturity are the key factors in IoT development.
“Security ranks the major concern for enterprises—both the data privacy and the secure transportation and storage of data. Following this is the concern around the upfront and ongoing costs of deployed solutions,” said Ujhazy of IDC.
The costs of deployed solutions cover devices, connectivity, maintenance and upgrades. Ujhazy pointed out that device costs keep coming down but connectivity fee is still sitting above US$1 per device per year for Sigfox and slightly higher for NB-IoT. Sigfox’s Hankinson touted its network connectivity cost is as low as HK$5 per device per year.
“These costs must come down in the next few years to accelerate the deployment of solutions, along with a maturing of IoT architectures, especially in the development of edge computing models,” concluded Ujhazy.