A new technology has arisen in the world of telecommunications and Internet called: Internet of Things (IoT), which means using internet for everything, or within everything. This technology is based on the concept of connecting everything that surrounding you to the internet, everything literally, such as your clothes, watch, shoes, pen, cigarette packet, and even your coffee cup.
All these things will be provided with small sensors that are able to access the internet. As soon as these sensors are activated, they will start to collect information from the surrounding environment, analyze your actions, and continuously send reports to central banks of information through the internet. After that, these banks will perform deep analysis of these reports in order to make decisions on behalf of you, such as making appointments with your dentist, or informing your doctor that you have an increased temperature so he can give you a medication prescription without visiting him, or making appointments with the car workshop to repair your car or even to drive itself automatically to the workshop and come back again. According to scientists and specialists of this domain, the goal of this new technology is to allow you to better plan your life, as they hope.
This technology will not use the existing telecommunication networks. Instead, there is an intention to create a new global wireless network which uses short unlicensed waves to broadcast services of this technology. The new proposed network is able to provide the largest possible coverage using less ground stations compared to the existing telecommunication networks. Moreover, each of these stations will be able to serve millions of sensors providing them internet access, unlike the current stations that serve hundreds of users only with an acceptable quality of service. One of the leading companies in this field reported that it was able to cover a large country which is Spain using 600 ground stations only. However, we need more than a hundredfold to cover the same area using the current telecommunication networks. Not to mention the time required to create these networks, where the current telecommunication companies need several years to provide a complete coverage of one country, while the new companies can cover the entire country within weeks only, due to the simplicity of the implemented networks. Furthermore, there are some indications shows that these companies will be able to cover the entire world during three years at a cost of less than several hundred of million dollars only!
Well, what is the frightening matter in this topic to the telecommunication companies? And why should you be aware of this coming threat which has a similar effect or even greater than the effect of the OTT providers now?
The first threat of this technology is using a massive number of sensors (expected to be an average of 100 sensors for every person on the planet) which will not pay any penny for the telecommunication companies to gain access to internet, because the new IoT operators will allow these sensors to gain free internet access through the new networks as mentioned previously. However, the biggest and the most dangerous threat here is that telecommunications companies will be completely marginalized from this new business, which is estimated to earn tens of billions in return during the near future, and it will be the center of the global economy. In the same time, you will find the telecommunication companies provide rudimentary services compared to this revolutionary new business. Moreover, this industry will not need any license to be established in many countries, while other countries will offer licenses to be sold likely with minimal prices because of the great demands of the world’s governments to create smart cities without understanding the risks of using these global networks. This will make a lot of information banks be existed far away from their control, and accordingly a lot of important data will be obtained by a few people who will control the world’s economy and the whole humans’ lives. This data can be resold again with a double price for people who wish to use it such as doctors, schools, clothing stores, cafes and restaurants, grocery stores, airline companies. In short, many of the current trade aspects will disappear, also the role of products marketing will be reduced, as the access to the consumers will be limited to the highest bidder on these information banks.
The current telecommunications companies have only a few options to face this new attack on their interests, they either have to associate with the telecommunication organizers in their countries in order to prevent the new companies from implementing their networks, or they have to provide such new services. In my opinion, the more appropriate option is to invest in these IoT companies or acquire them, which is better especially for the long term. The most important step for telecommunication companies now is to pay attention to this threat, and to develop their ability to put appropriate strategies in order to face this new threat.