There’s been a lot of talk recently about the Internet of Things (IoT). If you’re not familiar with this concept, IoT refers to the idea that everyday physical objects will be connected to the Internet and will be recognized by or interact with other devices without requiring human intervention. An example of a “thing” could be a car with built-in sensors that alert you on your smartphone when your car is being towed, or a fridge that sends you a text when you’re almost out of milk.
According to Cisco, there will be 50 billion connected devices connected to the Internet of Things by 2020. Morgan Stanley countered that prediction with an even more impressive number of 75 billion, factoring in the growth trajectory since 2000.
Let’s put that in perspective. If the Morgan Stanley pundits are correct, that translates into 9.4 devices for every one of the 8 billion people expected to be living on the planet in seven years.
Given that Cisco’s Rod Soderbery placed the number of Internet connected devices in 2012 at 8.7 billion, right now we’re at just over 10% of what’s to come if the numbers hold true.
We’re not just talking laptops, cellphones and tablets. This means everything from wearable devices and sensors to machine-to-machine communications.
So what does a nearly nine-fold increase in the volume of devices on the Internet of Things mean? A lot of infrastructure work for one thing; along with some amazing market opportunities for those who play their cards right.
The word ginormous comes to mind. In an interview with Barron’s (a subscription is required to read the full interview), Cisco CEO John Chambers suggested that the Internet of Things will translate into a $14-trillion industry. So who stands to win in this game?
Many analysts think that the biggest winners could very well be the connected device manufacturers and big data vendors. At Cel-Fi, we think that the Internet of Things will become the new battleground for wireless carriers thanks to an enormous increase in subscribed devices, and growing demand for indoor cellular coverage where many of these devices will be located.
The potential for growth is massive; and we’re excited to see where this ride will take us.
Tell us your thoughts on the Internet of Things. Where do you think the biggest impact will be?
By Werner Sievers, CEO