Home North AmericaNorth America II 2015 Opening Up the M2M Monetization Floodgate for Carriers with Telco API

Opening Up the M2M Monetization Floodgate for Carriers with Telco API

by Administrator
Mohan PalatIssue:North America II 2015
Article no.:3
Topic:Opening Up the M2M Monetization Floodgate for Carriers with Telco API
Author:Mohan Palat
Title:Director, Product Marketing – Digital Services for Mobile Operators
PDF size:379KB

About author

Mohan Palat is Director, Product Marketing for Comverse, where he oversees the product marketing of Comverse’s Digital Services and solutions to help Mobile Operators monetize their services through technologies such as RCS, WebRTC, Messaging, M2M, VoLTE, Video, Social Media, and more, to meet the needs of today’s digital consumers. Prior to Comverse, Palat held product marketing and management positions with Sonus, CarrierIQ, Aylus Networks, Citrix/Bytemobile and Motorola. Palat is considered an industry expert in Digital Services, and has been quoted in many industry publications.

Article abstract

The Internet of Things is the “next big thing” – the volume of devices, messages, and applications that the IoT industry is expected to generate will dwarf anything the world has seen before. But in order for IoT to
realize its full potential, there are some important challenges that must be overcome along the evolution path that the IoT market will traverse. One of them is the challenge of connecting ordinary consumers to the world of sensors and RFIDs in a manner that is seamless, user friendly and which provides them the comfort factor to interact. The RCS API Gateway can make this happen by seamlessly connecting a regular smartphone chat or messaging
session to IoT (Internet of Things) devices, applications and data. In this article, this will be explained in greater detail, along with some practical real world use case examples.

Full Article

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the “next big thing” – the volume of devices, messages, and applications that the IoT industry is expected to generate will dwarf anything the world has seen before. It is a disruptive technology that will transform our everyday lives. For example, some forecasters are calling the number of IoT devices shipped alone to be seven to eight billion by 2020. IoT will be a trillion dollar industry in the next four to five years.

In order for IoT to realize its full potential and mass market appeal, there are some important challenges that it must be overcome as the technology evolves from experiments in research labs and universities to consumer applications in the real world. One of them is the challenge of connecting ordinary consumers on smartphones and tablets to the world of sensors and RFIDs in a manner that is seamless and user friendly. It should provide ordinary consumers who not tech-savvy and/or early adopters of new technologies the comfort factor to interact with machines. For one thing, this means not having to download a new App every time a consumer wants to interact with a new machine or sensor. It means not having to make configuration changes to the smartphone or tablet settings before being able to interact with IoT devices. It means not imposing additional feature requirements on the consumer’s smartphone or device (which effectively means upgrading the smartphone and/or the software in order to support IoT services). It means not introducing any new security vulnerabilities on the consumer’s device, since machines and devices will have access to the smartphone. It means not introducing new resource restrictions on the device that interferes with its normal operation.

From a Carrier perspective, the interfaces between the mobile network and the IoT network must be secure and user interactions must be authenticated, to avoid compromising the Carrier or IoT networks. IoT transactions must generate relevant charging information so that the Carrier can bill for the service. In general, introducing IoT capability must not involve installing new hardware elements and/or re-configuring the Carrier’s network.

Smartphone sales to customers worldwide exceeded one billion in 2014, according to a press release by Gartner. Smartphones are increasingly becoming the primary communications device for consumers. This trend is likely to accelerate in the coming years. Today, consumers rely on smartphones for voice, messaging, and increasingly email communications. Therefore, the expectation is that consumers will prefer to use the smartphone for IoT services as well.

As Carriers around the world deploy high speed 4G/LTE, smartphones are getting faster and more feature rich. Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) will eventually become the default voice service on smartphones. Text Messaging is transitioning to “Rich” Messaging that includes multimedia content and real time chat capability. This is enabled by Rich Communications Services (RCS), a mobile industry technology that delivers rich messaging services on top of VoLTE, in 4G/LTE networks. Real time Chat is a simple but particularly interesting feature in RCS since it allows a smartphone user to interact in real time with another smartphone user. The real time interaction is between two smartphone users with subscription to the same or different mobile network.

This interaction can be extended to Internet of Things devices, machines and sensors through the use of an industry defined Telco API (called the RCS API Gateway). Smartphone users can interact in real time with the IoT Network. Consumers can issue commands and receive information from sensors, RFID tags, and a variety of IoT devices in an interactive manner within a chat session. Consumers can also receive event notification from RFID tags within a chat session. This Telco API acts as an intermediary between the mobile network and the IoT world. It provides real time interworking and translation between the message formats that the mobile network and the IoT world understand. As an example, a smartphone user can open a message or chat session on his/her phone with an IoT device, application or cloud, issue a command in the form of a message, and get a response back. The user experience is similar to that of a message chat session with another consumer.

A sample use case is that of consumer interacting with the home temperature control IoT application through a chat session. The consumer types in “temperature” and this application responds back with the current temperature. The consumer issues a “set temperature 75o” which causes the home temperature control system to change the temperature setting to 75o. Similarly, consumers today are interacting with their home security systems remotely through a chat session.

Another interesting example is that of a pharmacist monitoring the temperature inside a medicine refrigerator where medicines are stored. It is very important, and almost critical, that medicines inside a refrigerator be maintained at a proper temperature. With the use of the Telco API, an abnormal temperature reading alerts the pharmacist through regular smartphone chat messaging. This alert capability is especially useful during off-hours when the pharmacy is closed and no one is monitoring the system.

A third example that is gaining traction in North America is that of controlling the house and garage doors through a smartphone chat session. Chat commands can be issued to open/close doors, and to monitor the current state of the doors.

One can think of a plethora of other potential use cases in various market segments such as health care, home automation, connected car, etc. The possibilities are many, since this general approach is agnostic of the vertical market or the use case.

In summary, by providing a user friendly access to IoT devices and networks, the Telco API opens up the mobile network to a plethora of IoT applications, now and in the future. Many of these applications can be monetized, creating new revenue streams and upsell opportunities for carriers. This is a call to action to carriers to consider ways to open up their networks and seize monetization opportunities through Telco APIs.

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