A worldwide IoT network grid to harness the power of connectivity
Businesses are eager to leverage their network connection capabilities to gain market leadership. The potential rewards from leveraging wireless connectivity are endless, says Ankur Bhan, global head of Nokia’s Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING).
It enables real time collection, analysis and interpretation of data that could, if handled correctly, make every corner of a business or industry more efficient. This widespread, untethered connectivity unlocks digital transformation.
The power of wireless connectivity
Wireless connectivity can help industries like agriculture, logistics and transport to make massive technological leaps. These industries, and others like them, can use it as an enabler to implement a connected infrastructure and improve internet connected devices and systems for realising state of the art operation efficiency. By combining broadband cellular network technology and wireless connectivity, businesses will gain instant access to advanced analytics for maximising revenue and profit from the company.
It has been made clear that businesses from multiple sectors want to integrate the Internet of Things (IoT) into their infrastructure and meet the increased requirements of the emerging wireless use cases, but they are lacking the tools to seize the opportunities. At the same time, mobile operators are looking to win new revenues with low risk and minimal investment, instead of spending CAPEX and time building a silo IoT network and services.
The complexities of global connectivity
In order to take advantage of the IoT across various industries in this globalised economy, the first hurdle is dealing with the complexity and cost of managing connectivity globally across multiple networks. Businesses can work with their local operator to provide them with comprehensive IoT services so they can reap the rewards across their ecosystem and lay the groundwork for a mutually beneficial partnership. The challenge of course remains in providing global enterprises with seamless worldwide connectivity which only global operators can supply.
Mobile network operators (MNO) and/or mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) need a solution that offers the ability to support their enterprise customers with global IoT connectivity wherever they might be. A single global IoT service would enable operators to provide this consistent service level, which is crucial for enterprises as even a small improvement in the ability to monitor and manage assets can have huge financial benefits.
Modernising port operations
Ships carry over 90% of world trade, and a container ship can carry US$30 million (€24.75 million) to $50 million (€41.24 million) of cargo traveling through a complex system of logistical and industrial centres. Ports must be competitive to become ports of call on international and domestic freight routes.
One of Thailand’s largest and most important port operations company wanted to accomplish its goal of becoming the most efficient terminals in the country by gaining greater visibility of its port assets. However, in order to do this, it needed a mobile network partner. The Japanese MVNO, Marubeni Network Solutions Inc. stepped up to the plate and implemented a solution that gives a single view on key performance indicators for port yard operations.
Through a managed IoT connectivity and end-to-end asset management solution as-a-Service, the port was able to monitor in real time the location of trucks, cranes and other port vehicles on site, as well as track the number of loaded and off-loaded containers. In addition to geo-localisation, they used the data to monitor the physical status of various parts of these assets for proactive maintenance as well as ensuring employee safety and security.
A wireless network grid for the future
While this is just one example, the challenges many businesses have are similar in terms of needing to find a way to drive efficiencies and reduce costs. Without their own network solution in place, they need to work with their partnered mobile network operator to overcome these challenges. However, a new paradigm is required for connectivity that is consistent, seamless, works in the same way across multiple markets, supports various types of services yet manages cost control.
That is tailored to enterprise needs whilst supports MNOs to reach beyond their traditional subscriber base and expand on a global scale. Amplified by business models, operators and enterprises can enter the exciting world of IoT and embrace 5G with low risk and a minimal investment.
The author is Ankur Bhan, head of Network Function as a Service, and founder of Nokia’s Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING).