The Internet of Things (IoT) was this week tipped as the next big boom in telecommunication companies in the years ahead, according to IBM’s executive partner for cognitive solutions, Gopal Sharma.
The IoT is the interconnection of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, which allow for the collection and exchange of data.
Sharma, delivering an address during the MTN Business IoT conference at the Sandton Convention Centre, said: “IoT is going to be the biggest growth area for telecoms.”
The reason for the forecast was because the development of ecosystems needed the right partnerships and deciding on those partnerships – whether it was partnering among people, platforms, devices or connectivities – was key to success, he added.
During the event’s panel discussion, there was criticism levelled at telecommunication companies that the IoT’s biggest barrier remained the price of data in the country.
Melao Mashale, senior manager: MTN Business IoT Solutions, said the concept of IoT, though very simple, and used by everyone in everyday activities, needed greater awareness for it to grow.
Mashale said MTN had had to build a new platform for IoT.
“To address the data costs issue, we have actually built a separate network for all our IoT things because we have to put a whole lot more devices on to our network; from a data perspective, it’s far lower than our consumer network,” Mashale said.
During the event, several awards were given to winners of various innovation categories, including 21-year-old University of Cape Town student Yusuf Khan who developed an indoor farming solution and walked away as winner in the enterprise development category.