Answers to IoT questions

  • May 26, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Are you ready for the IoT? Steve Rogerson previews the IMC’s upcoming IoT Days online event scheduled for 17 and 24 June.

If you are reading this, you almost certainly already know something about the IoT. Maybe you have a large IoT installation and are reaping the benefits that the increased knowledge and controllability are bringing, but want to know how to extract more valuable information. Or you could be at the other end of the spectrum, just starting your IoT journey and working your way through the acronyms and jargon to discover what flavour of IoT best suits your business.

Either way, there are two dates next month – 17 and 24 June – that you should put in your diary. On each day there will be an online conference run by the IoT M2M Council (IMC) that could answer some of your most pressing questions.

The conferences will focus on the business and technological decisions that have to be made to configure the IoT, looking at connecting devices in the field for applications in manufacturing, services, energy distribution and supply chain. Keynote sessions will be backed by rapid-fire presentations and moderated panels. There will be use cases that dig deeper into what users need and how they can get a return on their investment.

For example, loading up computing power at the network’s edge can deliver artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML) capabilities while reducing latency and network dependency. The first session on 17 June, will take this premise and explore how mass-sensorisation – the concept of deploying sensors everywhere, or massive IoT – can require the opposite approach for sensors directly attached to the network with little or no edge intelligence. What are the business implications of these choices, in terms of performance, cost and capabilities?

This will start with a keynote from Syed Zaeem Hosain, CTO at Aeris Communications, and will be followed by a panel moderated by Jim Morrish from Transforma Insights and featuring Nugeen Aftab from Losant, Ed Hemphill from Pelion and Kurt Larson from NimbeLink.

Network operators can set up private networks for enterprise customers, as can cloud providers with private or public software-as-a-service (SaaS). Market-centric clouds and networks are also beginning to emerge catering to special industry requirements, such as for healthcare and energy utilities. The second session on 17 June will explore how business parameters can be affected by this including cost, latency, privacy and control.

Here Alistair Elliott from Pod Group, Curtis Govan of FloLive and Syed Zaeem Hosain from Aeris Communications will discuss the business implications of these choices in terms of cost and performance in a panel moderated by Robin Duke-Woolley of Beecham Research.

And so to the second day – 24 June – which will open up with a keynote from Fernando Baena, head of IoT sales at BICS. This will tackle the pros and cons of licensed versus unlicensed spectrum for IoT deployments.

Licensed cellular networks are available from 5G down to NB-IoT and LTE-M, offering alternatives from the highest possible bandwidth to lower data plans. At the same time, LoRaWan and other unlicensed options are providing low-power options and the latest satellite alternatives cannot be ignored. All these connectivity choices offer different opex, coverage, throughput, flexibility, complexity and service levels.

The panel discussion should therefore spark some interesting debate for Renil Paramel, senior partner at Strategy of Things, to moderate. He will be joined by Landon Garner from KORE, Tom Patten from Microsoft Azure IoT, Jim Wert of Tartabit and a representative from Telit.

Finally, the second session on 24 June will look at how design impacts power consumption at the edge kicking off with a keynote from Kseniya Dolia, vice president at Gurtam.

IoT edge design is getting more complex given the use of multi radio and multi band in the majority of the devices. However, the number of technologies that can help optimise IoT edge power consumption is proliferating. Low-power connectivity such as LoRa and NB-IoT, new battery technologies, full system approaches of radio and antenna design, and even concepts such as energy harvesting are all contributing to reduce the power needed for remote devices, but there are trade-offs.

Bob Emerson from Beecham Research will lead a panel that will see Jaap Groot of Ignion, Syed Zaeem Hosain of Aeris Communications and Luc Vidal-Madjar of BICS cover the implications of optimal design for cost and performance.

And that’s it. Those who want to benefit from the insights these days will deliver can find more information here.