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GSM联盟白皮书 Understanding the Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the use of intelligently connected devices and systems to leverage data gathered by embedded sensors and actuators in machines and other physical objects. IoT is expected to spread rapidly over the coming years and this convergence will unleash a new dimension of services that improve the quality of life of consumers and productivity of enterprises, unlocking an opportunity that the GSMA refers to as the ‘Connected Life’.

For consumers, the IoT has the potential to deliver solutions that dramatically improve energy efficiency, security, health, education and many other aspects of daily life. For enterprises, IoT can underpin solutions that improve decision-making and productivity in manufacturing, retail, agriculture and other sectors.

Machine to Machine (M2M) solutions - a subset of the IoT – already use wireless networks to connect devices to each other and the Internet, with minimal direct human intervention, to deliver services that meet the needs of a wide range of industries. In 2013, M2M connections accounted for 2.8% of global mobile connections (195 million), indicating that the sector is still at a relatively early stage in its development. An evolution of M2M, the IoT represents the coordination of multiple vendors’ machines, devices and appliances connected to the Internet through multiple networks.

While the potential impact of the IoT is considerable, a concerted effort is required to move beyond this early stage. In order to optimise the development of the market, a common understanding of the distinct nature of the opportunity is required. To date, mobile operators have identified the following key distinctive features:

1. The Internet of Things can enable the next wave of life-enhancing services across several fundamental sectors of the economy.
2. Meeting the needs of customers may require global distribution models and consistent global services.
3. The Internet of Things presents an opportunity for new commercial models to support mass global deployments.
4. The majority of revenue will arise from the provision of value-added services and mobile operators are building new capabilities to enable these new service areas.
5. Device and application behaviour will place new and varying demands on mobile networks.
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