Blog: Is it time to take consumer IoT seriously?

first_img Deutsche TelekomIoTOrangeVodafone Group Blog: The great big tower debate Analyst estimates for IoT and the potential value of the market are ever bullish, yet much of the conversation in the mainstream media still revolves around connected fridges, robots and kettles: is it time to make the world sit up and take notice?A swift look around industry forecasts show a vision of exploding device demand and warnings operators need to be prepared for the next generation of consumer devices.However, although the technology looks ready to go, the number of operators offering IoT devices direct to consumers and backing that belief up with a strong marketing push remains relatively low.This, though, may be beginning to change.In November, Vodafone Group announced V by Vodafone where existing customers can add IoT device connectivity to their subscriptions for an extra £3 to £4 per month/device as well as an upfront charge.Existing UK customers will have to pay £50 for a pet tracker, £80 for a connected car device, £59 for a luggage tag and an eye-watering £339 for a mobile camera.At the end of its fiscal Q2 – for the three months to end-September – Vodafone’s UK ARPU was £18.50. Adding just one device would represent a 20 per cent boost to the average monthly bill, plus the company will likely make a margin on the initial device sale.Vodafone is far from the first European operator to release consumer IoT products. Indeed, a connected luggage tag not dissimilar to the Vodafone product was released by Telefonica – running on 3G – in 2015.Although not the first to dip its toe in the water, V by Vodafone represents a major European operator group making its first strong bid for a slice of the consumer IoT market backed with a marketing punch and a single brand covering all devices.While Vodafone has gone for an entire ecosystem launch, others have opted to use fixed assets to target more specialist markets.Home comfortsDuring October, Deutsche Telekom’s head of new business, sales and marketing for connected home Matthias Mieves told Mobile World Live (MWL) the company viewed the sector as the fourth strand of its quadplay strategy after fixed, mobile and TV.As with the Vodafone model, Deutsche Telekom sells the connectivity and devices from security cameras to speaker systems. The operator sees the addition of smart home appliances as a solid defensive move against device providers getting into their customer’s homes and eventually eroding the base.Orange, on the other hand, focuses on providing content and entertainment oriented devices rather than utility products. In November, the company launched its latest VR headset alongside a new drone and mobile camera. Its range runs over Wi-Fi and at least one branded device is sold across the majority of its international markets.During the first part of the year it also developed a digital artificial intelligence (AI) proposition to tie-in with its TV box.Battery boostBengt Nordstrom, CEO of analyst company Northstream, told MWL other operators would be carefully monitoring the success of Vodafone’s model.He added a mixture of improvements in battery life, networks and consumer awareness of new technology meant the time could be right for a serious consumer IoT push from many of the world’s largest operators.“Until now we’ve not had the right device or module performance to do things like this,” he said: “Technically it has been possible for some time, but [the problem has] been about the price point and battery life of devices. It’s coming because we can now meet the technical requirements.”“Overall the [wireless] industry is at a stage where it is showing every sign of being a mature industry, it’s not growing any longer so every operator on earth has their business development teams working on new revenue opportunities. IoT is one of those key areas, so consumer IoT wrapping like this one will be very interesting to follow.”Vodafone plans to expand its IoT range under the V by Vodafone brand in 2018 and it will be fascinating to see what the new devices are and how well received the first batch is. A launch in Q3 was a shrewd move given the price point of items such as the pet tracker, making it a potential Christmas gift.If it proves to be a runaway success not only will rivals have to sit up and take note, but perhaps we’ll start seeing mainstream headlines about consumer IoT which aren’t just related to connected fridges ordering milk.The editorial views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and will not necessarily reflect the views of the GSMA, its Members or Associate Members. Related Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved… Read more Intelligence Brief: What has Covid-19 cost the IoT? AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 18 DEC 2017 Intelligence Brief: What does CES tell us about enterprise IoT?center_img Chris Donkin Author Tags Previous ArticleOptus facing court action over NBN claimsNext ArticleUK body calls for “urgent and radical” coverage action Blog HomeBlog Blog: Is it time to take consumer IoT seriously?last_img read more

Bank reform threat to law firm prosperity

first_imgFinancial advisers to the legal sector have warned of twin dangers threatening to undermine law firm stability in 2015 – with the potential to cause more closures.Steve Billot, managing director at Duff & Phelps, a specialist in restructuring for high street practices, told the Gazette that firms should brace themselves for the unintended consequences of banking reform in January.That is when, under the Basel III regulation, banks will be expected to bolster their reserves to match firms’ client account balances to cope with any possible run.The impact on law firms – many of which rely on interest from client balances – could be substantial, according to Billot, as banks pass on costs.‘Banks have to put aside billions of pounds to match the assets of client balances. It has thrown a real question as to the interpretation of client account balances and how lenders will treat them,’ he said.‘Lawyers will no longer receive preferential interest rates on deposits, and in turn will no longer benefit from lower interest rates on loans they take out from lenders.’Billot said many firms have client account balances that far exceed their turnover and earned ‘substantial’ returns from the interest.‘Firms have to be aware of this problem. You don’t want to have a budget on 1 January that relies on interest from client accounts.’Meanwhile, Peter Noyce, head of professional services at accountants Menzies, told the Gazette that he fears firms have not saved enough to see off trouble in 2015 arising from the way they dealt with new tax rules governing LLPs.To comply with new rules designed to combat tax avoidance by ‘disguised employees’ of LLPs, many salaried partners protected their self-employed status by injecting capital in the LLP.Noyce said the worry is that too many firms used this windfall to sustain unviable business models and poor working capital management. ‘If that is the case, the 2014 summer of discontent has simply been put off for 12 months,’ he said.last_img read more

Marion Hall to premiere gospel sound in South Florida

first_imgMarion Hall, the former dancehall artist known as Lady Saw, will be making her Gospel premiere in South Florida next year. Organizers confirmed that she’s still headlining at One Love in the Park show slated for Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2016, in Lauderdale Lakes. This will be her first performance following her announced rebaptism into Christianity.Dancehall star Lady Saw was baptized last Monday at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church in Kingston, hours after attending late deejay J Capri’s funeral service.Lady Saw said she was spiritually moved to return to her faith following the recent and sudden death of young dancehall singjay.Hall announced on her Instagram account that she was also cancelling all her upcoming dancehall shows.last_img read more

Pete Shinnick Named National Coach of the Year

first_imgBoth players were voted onto the honorable mention list after earning second team All-America accolades last month from the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association. Print Friendly Version Williamson had 70 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks. He established a new Gulf South Conference single-season record for sacks as well. The junior from Stockton, Alabama had at least one sack in each of the last seven games with 12 total over that time frame. Shinnick led the Argonauts to an 11-4 record and advanced to the NCAA Division II National Championship Game in their second season of competition. UWF went 5-3 in the ultra-competitive Gulf South Conference to finish tied for second. The Argonauts won a school record six-consecutive games which included five against nationally ranked teams en route to the title game appearance. Conley was one of the top defensive backs in the country, finishing with a team-high 104 tackles, four interceptions, six pass break ups, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. The junior from Tampa had at least five tackles in 11 of 15 games this season, in addition to a pair of interception returns for a touchdown.center_img PENSACOLA, Fla. – UWF head football coach Pete Shinnick was named the National Coach of the Year, while standouts Marvin Conley and John Williamson were recognized as part of the organization’s All-America Team. The Argos had the nation’s 20th-ranked defense and were in the top 20 in sacks, turnovers gained, interceptions, fumbles recovered, fourth down defense and defensive touchdowns. Much of that was due to first-year defensive coordinator Darian Dulin’s group, including Conley and Williamson.last_img read more

Limited stocks of home shirts available

first_imgAll adult sizes have been snapped in lightning quick fashion, with just XXL sizes remaining on sale.Youth shirts have also been flying out the door, with only a handful of Aged 6 shirts left in store.A new batch of shirts – in all sizes – are on the way, with an estimated delivery date of August 8th.This week the club’s purple and lime away kit was voted the best in the EFL via a Twitter poll.last_img