MWC showcases IoT – get ready for the next evolution with the introduction of voice

MWC19 was full of innovative and interesting IoT applications, driven by a wide range of industry specialists. There’s growing awareness that machine communication also needs to break out to human interaction, via messaging and real-time voice. MNOs need to understand how they can play a role in this field and remain relevant to specialist IoT applications and providers. Find out with Gintel.

Mobile World Congress creates a huge amount of noise and speculation, as well as a flood of media reports and this year’s event was no exception. Of course, 5G captured the headlines, but so too did analytics, AI and, most prominently, IoT.

Judging by the many exhibits and demonstrations focused on IoT, this is now a key theme across all sectors and industries. Adding mobility for remote control and data collection is standard and IoT connectivity is now ubiquitous. As such, there are many innovative and also complex services that have been showcased, spanning transportation, health, agriculture and much more.

So, the IoT is poised to take off but there’s another important step in its evolution that we expect to take place. IoT applications do not exist alone. They also need to interact with other services and capabilities – including voice and messaging.

The integration of IoT services with voice and messaging is a natural extension, as more complex applications are launched. Many of these may monitor events that trigger actions, either in response to events or based on predictive algorithms. Some of these will require coordination with people, which we have termed “M2M2H”. MWC showed that more companies are embracing the concept, indicating that there is growing interest in the idea.

We expect this to be driven first, by security and safety applications (as we have already seen) but it will undoubtedly penetrate other sectors, particularly as more processes are enabled with remote automation. Fall-back to human interaction and control will thus become increasingly important.

In addition to voice and messaging with real people, there will also be speech-driven AI integration, so we can expect there to be a blend of bot-driven as well as real conversational events. This is exciting new ground and we’ve been exploring it for some time now. We’ve already seen a number of trials as well as deployments, and we anticipate strong growth as we move through this year and on to 2019.

It’s particularly important for MNOs to pay attention to this. MNOs need to broaden their B2B portfolios and to enable more partnerships with other providers. Blending B2B capabilities with IoT services whether these are in-house or enabled by other partners is a key tactical step to achieve this.

Taking advantage of real-time, rules-driven voice and messaging capabilities play to MNOs’s key strengths and allows them to remain relevant to specialist providers from other sectors. So, the really interesting trend to watch will be how MNOs position their offers to capitalise on the growing need to blend human and M2M / IoT applications.

We can help. We provide a flexible environment that enables integration with other services, and which also delivers true real-time communications support, built for scale and Tier 1 reliability. So, if you want to explore how you can support IoT innovation with voice and messaging capabilities, get in touch to find out more.

MNOs, IoT, MWC, Mobile World Congress, B2B, 5G, AI, MWC19

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