You don’t need 5G to enable innovation in mobile IoT solutions

drones IoT
Image credit | Oleksandr Pidvalnyi

You would be forgiven for being surprised by a quote in a progress report from the GSMA on IoT innovation across Asia. But, that’s what happened.

It was right at the end, which made it even more surprising that we saw it. “There is no way to go beyond connectivity without working with partners,” said Azrin Aris, Director of Emerging Solutions and Innovation at TM One.

We have said this before, many, many times. It is just refreshing when it comes from an operator. There has long been a feeling that operators are still stuck in the ‘connectivity will solve everything’ mindset but this may, finally, be changing.

The status report itself is useful and shows real progress in IoT targets such as smart cities, smart buildings and smart refuse collection. It is perhaps ‘boring but important’ but illustrates the real sweet spot for operators addressing the ever expanding IoT ‘market’.

Efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Advances in both these areas does not mean the IoT progress is devoid of cool, innovative stuff too. One that stands out in the report is managing deliveries via drones.

True Corp in Thailand has partnered with Government agencies, medical facilities and others to make drone delivery a reality. And they didn’t wait for 5G.

Drones tend to be controlled via Wi-Fi but by installing 4G receivers on each drone, along with cameras solves that problem and gives each drone an IP address. Although the latency with 4G can be as much as five seconds, this was deemed more than sufficient to access the cameras and make sure that there were no people or animals in the landing zone.

Right now, the service is available in Pattaya but will be rolled out to other cities this year. And the items that can be delivered are expanding too, and will ultimately be as easy to use as any other delivery service.

It is successful because True partnered with others, as did cities and building managers cited in the report. The case studies also cover farming, manufacturing and logistics.

There is a definite feeling that partnerships are emerging as the most effective strategy for operators to address enterprise and Government solutions. There is also a feeling amongst the case studies that co-operation ‘makes the pot bigger’ and provides more opportunities as a result – and that enables more innovation.

Partnerships, co-operation, innovation and no focus on any particular ‘G’ as the access mechanism? From the GSMA? Surely not.

Have a read of the report ‘Internet of Things case studies – leading the world of innovation in Asia Pacific’. It is free to download.

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