The Smart Connected life : Telcos take the lead !!

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According to GSMA “Beyond connectivity, mobile operators will play a crucial role in working together with a range of industry partners in health, automotive, education, smart cities and a range of vertical industries to accelerate the launch of valuable connected services,” Unfortunately without continued investment and growth in mobile networks ( especially LTE ) and the deployment of multiple connected devices, the socioeconomic benefits of the connected life will not be fulfilled.

mHealth programmes are currently one of the most cost-effective ways of providing remote living assistance to aging and chronically ill patients. mHealth programmes provide faster response times, integrated record access and considerable ease of use to patients. Remote consultation and support is expected to address the growing chronic disease management issue by reducing the need for hospitalisation. Proactive mobile based care for patients with sudden health incidents can reduce the number of primary and emergency visits by 10%. Mobile technology can also be used for home monitoring, thereby reducing the need for face-to-face consultations.

In Barcelona @ MWC , Telcos had the opportunity to generate value beyond basic connectivity through managed connectivity, stewardship services and platform innovation. The GSMA area was filled with interactive demonstrations of the connected life including the Aston Martin One-77, the bike of the future. It is fully connected and tuned into its own performance as well as the rider, including mobile health monitoring and electronics that track the bike’s performance in relation to its environment.

There was also the Mantarobot showing virtual teaching through augmented reality and virtual presence and the Cooltra Connected Electric Scooter, the latest in smart city transportation, the GO! S3.4 from GOVECS which lets customers know when and where scooters are available and can be started with a phone via NFC. The widespread penetration of mobile networks offers a powerful platform to improve access to relevant content.

mEducation solutions already allow thousands of students in China, Bangladesh, South Korea and Indonesia to access course content through SMS and audio lessons. An mLearning student saves 86.7% of the cost spent by students taking the same training in a traditional classroom. Much of this is due to the elimination of the cost and inconvenience of travelling to attend courses. Inexpensive personal learning devices like the 35 USD tablet launched in India are further improving access to mEducation.

In developed countries mobile interventions could help cut healthcare costs by 400 billion USD in 2017, help retain 1.8 million students in the education system, save one in nine lives lost in road accidents, and reduce CO2 emissions by 27 million tonnes annually. Similarly in developing markets, mobile interventions could help save over a million lives in Sub-Saharan Africa, provide education access to 180 million students, save 25 million tonnes of food and encourage over 20 million commuters to start using public transport. ( GSMA Connected Living Program )

Mobile networks play a pivotal role in the development of the connected life providing a scalable, standardised global platform to support the growing demand for intelligent, secure connectivity.Examples of valuable connected services were amply demonstrated by leading edge Telcos at the GSMA Connected City showcase in Barcelona included :

In the Connected Home AT&T showed how people can use their smartphones and tablets to manage their energy, automate appliances and secure their homes through AT&T Digital Life. General Motors demonstrated how AT&T’s 4G LTE network will transform the driving experience by enhancing safety, security, diagnostic and infotainment in the vehicles starting next year.

Deutsche Telekom, in conjunction with IBM, bought to life Smarter Cities for the Future using machine-2-machine technology to optimise urban services such as public transport, parking, energy, security and water management. Together with SAP, Deutsche Telekom also showcased Connected Port Solutions designed to optimise both road and sea traffic control as well as logistics and terminal operations in order to make port processes more efficient allowing larger quantities of goods to be trans-shipped in the port area.

Korea Telecom featured technologies that make our lives better including edutainment robots, automatic content recognition, smart home phones, a controlled motorcycle, eco food bins and cloud CCTV.There were also Smart Apps in your hand showing how we can live smarter with intelligent and unique applications including mobile K-pop music, integrated mobile payment and self-created M-learning solution.

Vodafone were showcasing their Smart Home, Smart City and Smart Mobility solutions.Smart Home illustrated how M2M technology can provide premium security services, enable remote health monitoring and even open and close doors remotely.Smart City demonstrated how Vodafone’s Energy Data Management (EDM) solution, solar energy production monitoring, remotely controlled street lighting and digital signage are enabling the smart city.

Vodafone’s Connected Cabinet solution demonstrated retail display cabinets that report on location, operational status and stock levels in real-time. Smart Mobility showed how M2M is transforming the automotive and transportation industries, be it through real-time information systems for public transport, enhanced drivers’ experience with telematics services or through usage based insurance services with Vodafone Vehicle Connect.

“By 2020, there is no doubt we will live in a much more connected world, which will have a fundamental impact on the way we live and work. This impact will not only open up new revenue opportunities for operators, but it will also facilitate a host of new business models, improve the way that companies do business and improve efficiencies in innumerable ways. Our estimate of the value of this is US$4.5 trillion, but the impact on and benefit to society is immeasurable,” Machina Report

Sadiq Malik ( Telco Strategist )

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