A New Connectivity Standard for the IoT—Building a Better Mousetrap

Why is such a standard so important for the Internet of Things?
By Bo Ilsoe

Mission-critical applications will require QoS and high availability, and industrial use cases will have the most stringent requirements. The current regulated spectrum solutions generally allow better QoS and latency control, though they themselves are also subject to statistical assumptions and the whimsical behaviors of radio wave propagation (yours truly graduated with a master's degree in radio channel equalization techniques).

On the telecom operator side, it seems that all operators want to play a part, but the revenues are minuscule compared to cellular. Most operators have the IoT on their strategic agenda, but the existing business model does not allow them to reap much value. It is still unclear what the role of operators will be. We are, however, seeing early signs of consolidation by operators to accrue more value in end-to-end solutions—for instance, Vodafone acquiring Cobra Automotive.

3. The connectivity market will remain small:
The LPWA connectivity market will be small compared to cellular connectivity for mobile phones. The majority of the value will be in applications and analytics, simply because the IoT stack (comprising chips, modules, end devices, gateways, network servers, provisioning, analytics and so forth) is generally simpler and optimized for high unit volumes, narrow bandwidth and low-cost connections.

The LoRa ecosystem needs to make it easier for end customers to understand and buy solutions. End-to-end offerings and out-of-the-box connectivity will help customers in non-technical industries more readily adopt the IoT. Service providers are already quoting prices in the range of $0.50 to $1.00 per connection annually. This is expected to come down as competition increases.

All in all, it's a very exciting time to be an IoT investor, not only because of LPWA or 5G, but primarily due to the massively important enterprise and consumer solutions these technologies enable.

Bo Ilsoe has more than two decades of experience in venture capital, organizational and strategic development, and sales and marketing. Bo began his career in the technology business with Alcatel and Nokia, where he launched some of the world's first GSM networks. Since 2002, he has been an investor and has created in excess of a billion dollars in shareholder value with successful exits such as CapitalIQ, Heptagon and Fyber (formerly known as Sponsorpay). Having lived in seven different countries, including six years in Singapore, and having invested in more than ten countries, he comes with a global view to business. He graduated with honors with a Masters in Electronics Engineering degree from Aalborg University, Denmark. Bo is based in Europe.

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