An emerging trend in the Internet of Things (IoT) is Massive IoT. Due in part to what is being coined the 5G era, the total of IoT connections is forecast to be 25.2 billion by 2025, with 3.1 billion of those employing cellular technologies, including low power wide area (LPWA) Mobile IoT networks.
LPWA networks, particularly NB-IoT and LTE-M, were defined by the 3GPP in the same release as 5G (Release 13) and have been identified as cellular or Mobile IoT connectivity that will power IoT at scale. Where 5G is focused on speed and latency, Massive IoT is focused on size.
Cellular connectivity for the IoT has significant value. It’s wide availability, strength, reliability, and mobility pairs well with a technology that demands those features. However, cellular connectivity has come with its challenges in the past.
Many IoT devices are of lower complexity and are deployed in large quantities; and often in remote or hard-to-reach places such as underground; or are mobile, like along a supply chain. A cellular connectivity such as 4G LTE will pull large packets of data from a device and quickly drain the battery of the device.
Not only is this expensive, but it also quickly reduces the lifespan of a device. In cases where thousands of devices are deployed in a single solution or devices are difficult to access, switching out devices routinely makes little business sense
With emerging LPWA technologies, the same benefits of cellular connectivity are applied, but they are also designed with low-data, low-power devices commonly used in IoT. This is a significant boon for IoT and makes it a more accessible technology.
Because of LPWA technologies, the ability to connect millions of devices globally across verticals is entirely possible. LPWA will spur the growth of many use cases:
Precision farming: The ability to use sensors to monitor soil, temperature, humidity, as well as livestock and equipment health will help zero in on more precise crop and livestock yield with less waste.
Smart metering: Connecting meters through IoT technology allows for more efficiency and may also aid in balancing electric loads to avoid blackouts.
Smart cities: Public works and utilities can be outfitted with connected sensors including traffic signals, streetlights, parking meters, surveillance cameras, waste management, and water. These IoT solutions can increase safety, mitigate traffic issues, and support efficiency.
Fleet and asset tracking: With the ever-increasing global demand of moving goods, optimizing fleet and supply chain routes through granular visibility both supports efficiency and mitigates risks and losses.
Smart manufacturing: In an industry that has little room for error, high-level visibility keeps production moving smoothly and helps address worker safety concerns.
These are just a few use cases for Massive IoT. What it comes down to is the ability to connect devices across the many operating levels of any vertical, whether it’s agriculture, education, or utilities.
Implementing and managing large-scale IoT deployments is greatly important but can have its impediments if not strategized effectively.
A major international crop science company that deploys its agricultural IoT solutions in farm equipment on individually owned farms in the U.S. was having issues monitoring and manage data usage. Since this farm equipment was deployed broadly, manually tapping into devices with abnormal usage was a logistical challenge.
Because of data overages either due to tampering or device issues, this major agriculture company was losing between $60,000 and $100,000 annually in data overages alone.
The company approached KORE as an existing customer wanting the value-add of a security and network monitoring platform to help mitigate these overages through remote monitoring. They began using the KORE award-winning SecurityProTM to monitor usage across their entire IoT infrastructure.
With SecurityPro, the agriculture company is able to set customized rules and alerts to look into abnormal traffic patterns and data usage. With granular insight, the SecurityPro platform can detect many of conditions which allows the network control and insight to mitigate issues beforehand. For example, the agricultural company is taking devices that have acted abnormally in the past and placing them in a group where the devices have to check in during a certain time period. This is one of the many rule engines that makes sure devices are communicating and behaving as intended.
Security is a critical element of any IoT deployment. Many connectivity management platforms cannot detect down to the device level fluctuations in usage that could potentially indicate security breaches or device malfunction. This is where SecurityPro a comprehensive, intuitive tool that can manage the complex network and usage details of IoT deployments across all verticals can help organizations avoid overages through advanced anomaly detection and rules-based alerts.
Want to learn more about how it works? Check out this short demo video to see it in action.
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