“A key to understanding IoT is that it is not a technology revolution, but a customer experience revolution.”
So wrote Telstra CEO Andrew Penn recently in a post on LinkedIn. He said one of his big takeaways from this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) was that the reality around 5G and IoT (internet of things) is catching up with the hype.
Every major network operator at MWC, Penn notes, had 4G-enabled IoT technology, or technology planned for 5G powering real-world, real-time IoT applications. Telstra showcased its own trial demonstration where IoT data gathered via its new 4G Category M capability was transmitted from Pooley Wines in Tasmania and displayed in Barcelona. The data showed things like soil moisture, temperature, rainfall, solar radiation, and wind speed and direction.
Penn says, “Every IoT use case I saw at MWC this year – including the smart, connected cars and trucks; the planes and trains; the houses and businesses, the domestic appliances and even the manhole covers – were an unambiguous reminder that IoT and 5G networks are not so far off in the future anymore. In fact, they are just around the corner. They were also a reminder that the key to understanding IoT is that this is not just a technology revolution, it is a customer experience revolution.”
“IoT has implications for every business because it forces a complete re-think of just about everything we do. And that is a good thing because it raises all sorts of exciting questions and opportunities to think about how we can create the best possible customer experience.”
He suggested questions like:
- What opportunities are created if we can see and analyze how products are used in real time and what can we do with that knowledge to improve the customer experience?
- What are the opportunities created by being able to update or customize products remotely through software upgrades from the cloud?
- What if your systems could become autonomous and capable of learning as they are fed data from monitoring and control systems? What could you learn and what could you do with that knowledge in terms of the customer experience?
He said, “The internet of billions of smart, connected things creates a whole world of new opportunities to take a fresh look at how technology can deliver undreamt of customer experiences.”
Investment in 5G networks will be needed to make this a reality.
Penn said, “So much of the investment in network infrastructure for 2G, 3G and 4G was about hardware – the physical towers, cables and associated data centres that makes the magic possible. 5G is the same in one sense – an investment in new hardware is still required – but different in another because equally as important will be the investment in software to create smarter networks that can better manage data traffic while at the same time delivering an improved customer experience.”