IoT/M2M – The India story – part 1
(1) Transportation Management & Automotive Sector: The opportunity here is huge with potential for deployment in mass and corporate Fleet Management Services, Vehicle driver tracking and management, fuel consumption, Logistics support – Container/ Cargo management, GPS tracking, E-Toll, Vehicle security systems, Traffic control, Smart Parking, Emergency call and response services etc.
(2) Utilities: India’s fight against corruption and inefficiency can find an important ally here. M2M/IOT applications in this sector can be used to monitor and control consumption of various utilities. The utility companies (telephones, electricity, water, gas etc.) can deploy intelligent metering services by installing M2M communication modules on metering devices networked back to a control centre.
(3) Retail and BFSI Financial Transactions: ATM machines and credit/debit card management can be supported extensively for cash replacement, repair diagnostics, paper availability, online transactions, crisis management, security etc. The government could also use this effectively to monitor real time sale to stop possible leakage of tax.
(4) Home/Buildings/Apartment Complexes: Again with burgeoning real estate developments, there is a huge opportunity. M2M modules & sensors can be deployed in various utilities available to measure/ control energy, home health monitoring, HVAC, lighting, solar energy, wind energy and building alarms – security, fire, intrusion and other emergencies.
(5) Security and Surveillance: An increasing area of investment in various sectors, security applications in use are Remote Location Monitoring, Alarm System Monitoring, Video Surveillance, Real Time Monitoring, Video analytics in banking, retail and buildings in addition to smart cards and Facility Management.
(6) Industry and Manufacturing: M2M finds widespread use across industries, especially in dangerous environments. Some deployments include solutions in asset management, smart sensors, monitor/ diagnostics for industrial controllers, inflammable/ toxic material management, tank monitoring, data collection and so on.
(7) Healthcare: Smart body sensors, remote patient monitoring at residential/ institutional facilities, Hospital Management Systems etc. can be deployed with intelligent devices and a central server. M2M can also be used in India’s critical “Health for All” mission by networking primary health centres in rural areas to enable speedy diagnosis and timely treatment.
(8) Consumer Electronics: Use cases include remote monitoring and control of intelligent devices, interoperability between various devices, gaming devices and rider engines, kitchen appliances, picture frames, televisions and refrigerators etc.
(9 Wider Canvas: The potential is actually endless – the education and agricultural sectors, street light control, Public Distribution Systems, Animal Husbandry departments, mining, conservation of wild life and environment, pollution monitoring of water bodies, weather stations, disaster management etc.
And yet, we still touch only the tip of the iceberg!!!! So, who stands to benefit the most from this emerging technology?
There have been a few cases in India which have seen the usage of IoT/M2M technology. The education department of a northern state is using biometrics on top of a SIM card-based device that relays attendance record of teachers in government schools to a central database. In yet another case, buses in an eastern state have their seats embedded with SIM card-based devices that send alerts to digital billboards on bus stops to indicate the number of seats vacant. The benefits are obvious.
The SME space in India, which has seen a steady growth across various recession phases, has always been an intelligent adopter of technology. Most of the sectors mentioned above have a dynamic SME presence across the supply chain. Their adaptability levels are significantly higher given their highly manageable scale of operations.
And the telcos are sitting on an opportunity goldmine of core capacities and assets, critical for M2M/IoT success. Their infrastructures are in place and tested for volume delivery capacities. In addition to network connectivity, they have outstanding expertise in large scale service delivery with high reliability and global reach, plus an established network of partners for various services such as content development, apps creation, specialised/customised solutions and services, integration and even with terminal and module vendors. They are ideally poised to be the one-stop solution providers in this space!!