IoT will reach inflection point in 2023 

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Want to be up to speed on the key factors that will influence the IoT industry in 2023? IoT connectivity solutions provider Eseye has shared the company’s vision, which predicts that the segment will reach an inflection point with significant changes as companies adopt more sophisticated use cases.

For Eseye, eSIMs have solved the interoperability challenge over the past year by enabling choice between mobile networks. As such, enterprises using eSIM-enabled IoT devices can now switch between networks, reducing unfavourable but previously difficult-to-undo mobile network operator (MNO) ties. This evolution should catalyse five important trends in the coming year:

  1. The MNO dependency model must finally end: MNOs are inherently regional, meaning they operate in limited geographic regions and control their share of bandwidth. As eSIMs become the standard technology for IoT devices, the proprietary MNO model will finally be broken. In addition, hyperscalers like Amazon, Microsoft and Google are investing heavily in IoT, connectivity and networking solutions. With this shift, IoT use cases will be developed around the users rather than the technology. The trend is that by 2023, MNOs will change their business models to provide services as part of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), which will be better aligned and integrated with the offerings of hyperscalers. This means more flexibility in choosing connectivity solutions.

  • Interoperability between public and private networks will be a priority: Enterprises have started to intensify investments in private networks for more reliable, higher speed and low latency communication systems. In addition, there has been a growing demand for roaming between private and public networks. This should elevate the importance of MVNOs, which will offer rules-based switching between public and private networks through a single control plane, common APIs and consolidated billing.

  • Rise of ‘network agnostic’ and ‘multi-RAT’: As the cost of modems has fallen, interest in other types of radio multiple access (RATs) and different network service providers has emerged in search of combined options to optimise connectivity solutions for IoT. Innovations have also appeared in low-orbit satellite constellations and device-cloud satellite communication. So, by 2023, more IoT devices will operate with multiple connectivity modes. The next generation of MVNOs should adopt multi-RAT design strategies and optimise network solutions integrated with cellular, WiFi, LoRaWAN, satellite and other technologies.

  • Consumer and business IoT use cases are expected to converge and create new connectivity challenges: Previously disparate consumer and business IoT models are now combining in sectors such as healthcare, smart energy grids, electric vehicles and others. This should result in a new generation of MVNOs in 2023 that will enable this integration through connectivity solutions bridging the two worlds.

  • IoT will start and end at the devices: Today, IoT devices need built-in intelligence to operate in different environments, detect connectivity media and use the right components and protocols. In general, this requires complicated configurations at the design stage. By 2023, hardware is expected to become as important as software, if not more important. IoT devices will need connectivity and flexibility built into the design to adapt to an evolving market.

“In 2023, everything will change in the world of connectivity. Hardware design and configuration will become paramount as the power of choice finally shifts into the hands of enterprises and devices. With this, a new generation of MVNOs will emerge to unlock the full potential of the IoT,” says Nick Earle, CEO of Eseye.

Vision of a futurist

Bernard Marr, business and technology futurist, author of 21 books and Forbes columnist, has pointed out four key trends to keep an eye on in 2023 regarding the Internet of Things.

  • Digital Twins and Enterprise Metaverse: The convergence of the two technologies will enable IoT sensor data to create increasingly realistic digital twins – from factories to shopping malls. Enterprise users will then be able to tap into these digital twins using experimental metaverse technology, such as Virtual Reality headsets, to gain a better understanding of how they work and how to adjust individual variables and thus produce more relevant business outcomes.

  • IoT security: IoT device manufacturers and security experts should step up efforts to keep malicious actors away from valuable data. In the US, the White House National Security Council has stated that it hopes to have standardised security labelling for consumer IoT device manufacturers by early this year. This will, for example, help consumers understand what risks specific IoT devices may bring into the home. The UK is also expected to introduce its telecommunications product and infrastructure security bill. With these regulations and many other initiatives, spending on IoT security measures is expected to reach $6 billion by 2023.

  • Internet of Health Things: One of the most significant changes in this market is the use of wearables and sensors to monitor the condition of patients outside of hospitals or doctors’ offices, generating better quality care for those who need immediate and direct care. By 2023, we will see the emergence of the “virtual ambulatory” concept, whereby doctors and nurses will monitor and treat patients in their homes using sensors and telemedicine.

Wearables, meanwhile, will help reduce pressure on healthcare systems by allowing people to seek help early when something is wrong. By 2023, we should see more wearables options, such as skin patches, or even solutions from Elon Musk’s Neuralink, using implants to read neurological signals.

  • Governance and regulation in the IoT space: In 2023, the European Union is expected to introduce legislation to impose stricter rules on smart device manufacturers and operators on how data is collected, stored and protected. This is just one example of a series of new laws we should see implemented worldwide. Meanwhile, in Asia, 2023 should continue the Chinese government’s plans and initiatives to implement policies to drive the widespread adoption of IoT technology in the country.
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