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Internet of Things (IoT) and its impact on Telecommunications Industry

by Shailendra Kumar
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IoT in the Telecommunication Industry


Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things or IoT as it is popularly called, is a technology that simply links objects with an active network to facilitate data management and collection. It utilizes communication protocols to create a global network. IoT works with sensor technology to boost general objects interaction and obtain important data points.

The Internet of things or IoT is also about the continuous advancement of physical objects network. It uses the advantage of an IP address to facilitate communication between objects and internet powered devices through internet connectivity.

IoT data is not only just limited to computers, laptops and smartphones but also any device that has the ability to interact with the external environment through the use of embedded technology and the Internet. Machine data also coming from security systems, electronic appliances, speakers, alarm triggers, the lighting system of a house and other related systems is IoT data.

Cognitive solutions like Amazon Alexa, SAP Leonardo, IBM Watson, etc. are utilizing the IoT data really effectively to help organisation drive optimizations within their businesses.

E.g. one of the application used in major area like security where appropriate authorities can be alerted about the malfunctioning of a fire extinguisher in a building or in the monitoring of customers activity using connected cameras and sensors.

The changing face of the telecommunication industry

In 1984, the breakup of AT&T led to the emergence of telecommunication industry giving phone companies an opportunity of the free market. This made the long distance market become highly competitive.

With each passing year and the introduction of new generation products in the market, it becomes impossible to streamline companies into generic categories such as computer hardware, consumer electronics and communication.  Imagine a cell phone being able to do everything ranging from taking photograph to surfing the internet.

Telecommunication refers to communication over a wide range of distance via mediums such as telephone, radio, computer network, television and more.  Telecommunication can traditionally mean telephoning but through the advancement in technology and introduction of the internet, you can track your children’s whereabouts and play videos online. This closes the gap between communication and other industries such as electronic and computer.

The growth of wireless communication through the emergence of 3G and 4G networks boosted download speed and improved service with VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol making it possible to send data packets and phone calls over the internet and other forms of network such as IM-based VoIP. Although the consistency and quality of VoIP is not as good as the old time phone network but it’s getting there.

Due to the Telecommunication Act of 1996, telecoms cable TV were divided and prevented from video programming over phone lines and carrying out local call service. The service provider companies also provided long distance wireless telephone service. Wire line providers include Verizon and Sprint, the leading long distance service providers but a new generation company has introduced fiber optics to cater for traffic problem.

Telecommunication industry is involved in the production of hardware that facilitates sending and receiving of information across the globe. They also render services which include the control of switches that provide internet services, phone services and private networks. Telecommunication industry produces software that integrates and makes telecommunication operations ranging from sending and receiving an email to controlling background noise on your cell and controlling telephone switching equipment.

The telecommunication industry comprises of telephone companies and Internet service providers (ISP) which includes EarthLink, AOL, RBOC’s and Online Microsoft, etc. that ensures the development of information and communication society. The telephone companies make it easy for us to go online.

Telephone calls seem to be the major means of the sector’s revenue generator before the introduction of network technology. Telecommunication has upgraded from phone calls to text messages, High-speed internet needed by computer applications, video streaming and emails.


Utilizing Internet of Things data sources in telecommunication industry to create value

Telecommunication sector encounters big data issues due to the velocity of data flow. IoT data source can be used to meet up with requirements of communication service providers to ensure rapid response to events, reliability and security.  IoT data sources help telecommunication companies to profit from a large amount of information to promote the sector.

Due to the popularity of smart phones and other mobile devices, telecommunication service providers need to store and process this large volume of data that is being sent and received by networks. IoT data sources can improve the profitability of telecommunication industry by improving customer’s experience, security and optimizing network service usage.

One of these IoT data sources include a distributed messaging system, a form of IoT data source that allows Telecoms company to transfer data between cell towers, processing centers and users. Due to the bulk nature of data, it is essential to process these data closer to the source in order to easily transfer the huge amount of available data to various centers. This will allow to help predict heavy network period and prevent congestion. Churn can also be prevented by detecting the customers that have high tendency to deflect. With IoT enhancement, customers will not encounter any problem while paying bills as necessary steps will be taken to ensure payments recovery.

IoT data can also be viewed from the angle of using data source to predict customer’s actions and predict their behavior in an iterative pattern by discovering data or creating a model, analyzing data from the past, identifying new data source, correlating it with the past, applying proper machine algorithms to retrieve useful data and making predictions with the information retrieved. With the aid of new IoT data sources, telecom companies are able to predict accurately, improve customer satisfaction and ensure tailored marketing campaigns.

IoT data source helps in the management of security services. They also provide rapid response to an incident by correlating and utilizing average data from firewalls, endpoint and network devices. Efficient data platforms can be created using the new technology innovations to achieve scalability and meet reliability standards. These new solutions will combine both event processing and machine learning algorithms to investigate and prevent security threats.

Thus, the telecommunication industry applies IoT data sources in the area of network service optimization and customer acquisition to enhance customer’s satisfaction and improve reliability.


Impact on the consumers

There will be sustainability, safety and efficiency in telecommunication services rendered to the consumer, industry and society as a whole. Most applications that are recently developed for consumer’s use will be enhanced by IoT thereby saving cost and generating revenue amongst other benefits.

The revolution of Internet of Things or IoT has given telecommunication network providers the opportunity to play a larger role in creating new value. Consumers changing behavior will require service providers to provide astonishing services and deliver quality services to consumers.

IoT advancement has boosted consumers demand for connectivity and data and it is necessary for telecom companies to define a suitable approach that will favor the next generation of smartphone devices e.g. Mobile device doctor or network optimization thereby providing a great customer experience as the machine data coming from these sources can now be tapped and analyzed using machine learning techniques.

In a networked society, every industry and consumers will feel the advantage of internet service, thereby making them reach their maximum potential. It is predicted by Ericson that there will be billions of connected devices in the world by 2021 and most of these devices will be connected to consumer’s electronic devices. IoT will facilitate this development through the machine to machine and machine to person means of communication.

This will lead to Uberization of Telecom and for sure the customer will be a clear winner.


Benefits to the telecommunication business

With the aid of IoT, telecommunication business will be able to remotely manage changing network usage patterns. Network will be able to handle surges and pressure that arises from short term events. An example is heavy usage of a telecom device closer to a stadium during an on-going sporting event to avoid network outages in the areas of drop-out.

Telecommunication businesses will be able to monitor and plan effective maintenance, thereby optimizing their services in the area of Bandwidth coverage, bad download times, Dropped calls and inordinate service wait times.

Internet of things is the key to timely insights of network service to enhance customer experience and satisfaction. New products and services are now being created based on the insights and recommendations generated using the IoT data creating new sources of revenue.



There are many possibilities that are not yet explored in the IoT niche for the telecommunication industry. With the aid of cost effective methods and trending technologies, Internet of Things or IoT services will aid service providers to solve a real problem.

Telecommunication sector have access to large amount of data but they only need proper research and investigation of these data to really understand customer behavior and their interest in real time to create incremental value for the organisation.


Now, I’d like to hear from you.

Let me know in the comments section on how changes in Telecommunication sector has impacted your day to day life. Also, please share this blog with your network on social media and follow me on:

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Here is a bonus video to explain how IoT is changing the game of Cricket.


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