The Future of IoT

March 25, 2020

In the first of an occasional series, key PCCW Global experts talk about the key topics affecting the industry today.

Craig Price, SVP, Mobility Product & Marketing, has 35 years of professional and senior management experience in the IT and telecoms industry. Today his team is responsible for mobility products including IPX, A2P, IoT and mobile payment solutions.

How PCCW Global is ready to deliver new IoT business opportunities to enterprise

New business models are coming up every day because of IoT. What seems very expensive or impossible to do in the past is becoming feasible and even commonplace. Industry 4.0, autonomous vehicles, smart homes, smart wearables, connected home appliances are all reality nowadays. For example, vehicle and fleet management has become so advanced nowadays that businesses can schedule almost exact delivery time and re-routing of food delivery trucks to avoid traffic delay and provide complete temperature history of the food it has carried to ensure food safety and quality. All these are not possible without the deployment of IoT technology.

IoT is not just a technology, it is a business strategy. Businesses are making use of IoT in improving product and service performance, reducing machine down time, collecting real-time customer behaviour, and improving customer satisfaction. What’s more, there are many mainstream IoT applications deployed today specifically in industries, homes, telecom networks and smart cities resulting in faster, safer and less expensive services and goods. The impact is far and deep and affects everyone’s lives internationally.

PCCW Global has been a carrier for carriers for many years. It has been ranked top 10 in international IP traffic in the world. It has its own fibre, satellite, media, mobile, IP, IPX, IoT and SDI (software defined interconnect) networks as well as cloud facilities and data centres. Our edge devices are connected directly to over 800 MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) and MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) and therefore we can provide an almost 100% ubiquitous, direct, secure and orchestrated IoT service anywhere in the world. Furthermore, we can provide dedicated private links from our automated network platform Console Connect to all major public clouds or customers’ own private clouds. So literally a full connectivity service from edge to cloud and all managed and orchestrated by our own SDN service Console Connect.

End-to-end IoT connectivity can be very complex; imagine all the local and international connections, leased lines and public internet, mobile and Wi-Fi networks, private and public clouds, etc. Customers are looking for ways to simplify the ordering, deployment and change management of the network. The very nature of IoT is challenging as the traffic throughput per device can vary significantly and can be irregular at times, yet as the operating environment changes, throughput, bandwidth and frequency can change suddenly and in an exponential way. And mind you, we are talking about millions of devices here, so a scalable auto orchestration layer is crucial in effective network management, ensuring up time and maintaining service levels. Otherwise the economic benefits of IoT will be wiped out easily.

When properly configured and designed there is no need for our IoT connections to touch the public internet (the greatest source of frauds and threats) at all. Our device connection will go through 3GPP compliant 2/3/4/5G networks, then the IPX (international MNO operators’ private exchange), then to our SDI (software defined interconnect) platform, then via a private link to the destination public or private cloud. All these connections are orchestrated by Console Connect. In addition, we can also advise customers on security best practices to ensure that an even higher security level is achieved.

We have delivered many smart projects in Asia, Middle East and Europe, supported by our excellent project management office and our three international NOCs (network operating centres) 7 x 24 round the clock. Customer satisfaction has always been our top priority.

We are very experienced, and we understand that some countries do not offer permanent roaming, for example, and therefore we have local breakout solutions either in forms of an extended agreement with the local carrier or as a physical local SIM. All our proposed solutions are stable, reliable and legitimate. The customer should be aware of the risks if their suppliers do not fully comply with the local regulation.

IoT is moving extremely quickly. We have a comprehensive roadmap for 2020 and the coming three years. Our current Console Connect IoT service is primarily designed for enterprises, and soon we will be launching a carrier/wholesale version, followed by an MVNE product. We will also launch a multi-protocol connection service and an enhanced device management service. All of these developments are very exciting and impactful.