Will Smart Parking be the NB-IoT Killer App?

NB-IoTThe outcome of the IoT connectivity standard battle which is in full swing today will hinge on a number of factors. One critical factor is the application of the technology. Applications vary in requirements as well as in barriers of entry. While IoT promises huge economic potential at a macro-economic level, it is a major challenge for any entity, be it investor or service provider,  to assess where to place its investments and focus. Such dynamics are fully evident today at different levels: competition between LPWA and 3GPP IoT standards, and the competition within each camp, for example, between backers of NB-IoT and LTE Cat-m1. So, if applications are so critical, what are some of the leading ones and where one needs to look? Read more of this post

5 Reasons Why Smart Cities Fail

Smart Cities - IoTBeyond the hype of Smart Cities lies a number of challenges that have made the realization of smart cities a slow and arduous process. Some of the top challenges in my experience are the following:

1- Budget: cities operate on very tight budgets. The budget allocated to information technology is a relatively small part of the overall budget. This gates smart city activities a municipality can engage even before considering any other factor. Read more of this post

The Mushrooming IoT Alliances!

IoT AlliancesMany industry associations emerged on the scene within the last 8 – 18 months reflecting both the heightened interest in the general IoT space and the need for interoperability in a fragmented market. These alliances can be categorized broadly into two groups: industry collaboration alliances and technology alliances focused on ensuring interoperability among devices. For the home automation space, alliances and organizations have recently formed with the direct purpose of enabling interoperability of connected home devices. We review these below in addition to listing adjacent alliances that have influence on this market. Read more of this post

Observations and Trends in Wireless Communications from MWC16

Mobile World Congress MWC 2016The 2016 edition of MWC had two key themes: 5G and IoT. Both themes are positioned as potential revenue drivers for MNOs, but they are diametrically opposed propositions. These themes enforce the status of the MNOs as connectivity providers. Connectivity is a (necessary) commodity; 5G and IoT will take time to unfold as bounded by the requirements of investments and market development. But behind the limelight, the Internet giants and OTTs continue to lead the evolution towards network virtualization, while leveraging their inherent cloud and big data advantages, and as such, driving towards major market disruption. New business models are now possible that may render the MNOs to spectrum holders as service delivery is achieved through multiple channels with the cellular network being one of many such channels. Read more of this post

IoT in the Home: Funding

Home Automation FundingSmart home startups took $454 million in investor funding in 2014, an increase of 57% over 2013[1]. Among the largest deals in the space over the past six months include a $38MM Series B from Bessemer Venture Partners, Comcast Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures to August (smart locks) and a $31.8 million Series B to connected home software platform Zonoff from investors including Grotech Ventures and Valhalla Partners.

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IoT in the Home: Emerging Trends

Home Automation IoTThe adoption of wireless technologies for connectivity has shaken up the home automation market unleashing a number of trends:

The race to own the gateway. Home automation devices connect to the Internet through a gateway in the home. A standalone hub, cable set-top boxes, xDSL routers, a tablet may all serve as potential gateways. Established and startup companies are in fierce competition to own the gateway: Insteon (Microsoft), Nexia, Revolv (Google), SmartThings (Samsung), VeraLite, Wink (GE) are a few examples. The gateway owner furthers the chances of its technology platform, increases hold on the user and potentially gains access to a wealth of information on user behavior to derive additional revenues.  Read more of this post

IoT in the Home: Market Players

Home Automation IoT Home automation is an active market with many players approaching it from different angles:

Technology giants: Apple (HomeKit, iOS), Google (Nest, Android), Samsung and Microsoft (Xbox, Windows) best exemplify this segment. These companies leverage the operating system of mobile devices, their incumbency in the Internet platform business, and the Cloud infrastructure to expand into the connected home market. New players are also entering this space with significant foreseen growth include Alibaba, Amazon and Xiaomi. Read more of this post