IoT : The Internet of Things
Connected objects were everywhere and IoT is now becoming the Internet of everything.
Connected cars attracted a lot of attention with connected vehicles on most of equipment manufacturers’ and MNOs’ booths.
Renault’s CEO made a keynote where he presented the timetable for assisted driving. According to Mr. Carlos Ghosn, despite their numerous initiatives and some acquisition rumours, Internet giants are not rivals to car manufacturers but allies, as they consider electric cars and they help car makers to promote electric cars.
Ford had even its own booth presenting the electric vehicles (both passenger and entreprise cars) with dedicated solutions. In the meantime, Vodafone presented a Porsche Panamera model equipped with its new Telematics solution since the Cobra acquisition.
Smart is also getting traction in the IoT space. In the “innovation city” hall (space dedicated to the connected objects), through the AT&T offering (Digital life) where the home could control through the smartphone and even through the connected car (equipped with an AT&T SIM card). When approaching the home, the car can trigger the opening of gate by itself for instance (pre-programmed distance).
While 5G is already in the tracks, very low throughput network technologies are also under the spotlights. After the recent release of its 100 MEUR fundraising campaign among telecom operators, Sigfox was also on everyone’s lips at the MWC. Among the main new shareholders, Telefonica confirmed its strategic investment and its willingness to integrate the technology into its portfolio to address additional verticals and applications.
The GMA (Global M2M Association) also announced a strategic collaboration with Gemalto and Ericsson to provide a Multi-Domestic Service based on a single SIM (using the eUICC technology) helping global enterprises (chiefly from the automotive and consumer electronics segments) capitalize on the growth of connected devices.
Growing market but still key challenges though
During his keynote, if AT&T Wireless CEO predicted that the smart phone will be the remote control of everything in the next few years, he also pointed out the key challenges to address in order to make the IoT market grow significantly:
• Privacy concerns
• Effortless (ease of use)
Data about devices and their users is generated in real-time, often by default and without the user being aware or having choice (especially for free apps). There is a need for a different approach to giving users transparency, choice and control over their data and privacy.
Generally user has a single choice : accept or not using the service, there should be gradual approach (like sharing some id attributes but not all of them).
Privacy could be a competitive stick for service providers, as users are becoming more aware of privacy.
Facebook in emerging countries
• Airtel: “Operators and Facebook are like the beauty and the beast, but the beast (facebook) is becoming more human nowadays”. Airtel was reluctant to introduce Facebook because of VoIP threat. Is looking at it like the “boiling milk”.
• Millicom, Telenor: have seen ARPU rise thanks to facebook launching, very promising for them.
• Wikipedia has the same approach of “Wikipedia zero”, dealing with operator to provide data access for free.
More informations about IDATE's expertise and events :
Roland Montagne, Head of Telecom Business Unit at IDATE gives his first impressions about mobile world congress 2013.
Video only available in French.
During Mobile World Congress 2013 which took place in Barcelona from 25th to 28th of February, Arcep's team (French postal and telecommunications regulatory authority) had the chance to interview Roland Montagne, Telecom business unit Director. The interview goes through his opinion on the different main themes of the Congress: mobile and FTTx network convergence, multiplication of devices' uses and data explosion that comes with through 4G especially through video, networks virtualization thanks to IP protocol and last but not least the telcos moves to segment their offer and capture the value created by these new uses.
Smart Devices ecosystems vs. Open cloud
Smartphones, and to a lesser extent set-top boxes, have in recent years been viewed as strategic components for disseminating innovation, sharing value and structuring digital ecosystems. Are operating systems and store apps going to retain this strategic character in the era of HTML5 and Cloud Computing? Are we going to see the distribution models for smartphones and set-top boxes coming closer together?
> More information on the website DigiWorld Summit 2012.
Senior Consultant Telecom Strategies at IDATE
1.2 billion Smartphones sold worldwide in 2016
IDATE publishes his new report “Next Generation Mobile Devices”. This study provides an overview of the next generation of mobile devices market, analysing technological evolutions and their associated uses, as well as their impact on the platform-based economy. It delivers innovation case studies, mobile device market data (in volume and value) for mobile handsets and tablets, along with an analysis of carriers’ and manufacturers’ strategies and challenges.
“Smartphones have radically changed the mobile industry and helped our network-based economy to move to a platform-based one“, says Basile Carle, device expert at IDATE. “Accounting for only 31% of all smartphone sales in 2011, they will account for 58% of total sales of mobile phones in volume in 2016. In absolute value, 1.2 billion smartphone units will be sold in 2016 as compared to 471 million in 2011. Meanwhile, the feature phone as we know them will be gradually replaced by low-cost smartphones with basic functionalities in emerging countries”
A selection of trends for Next Generation mobile devices
Depending to innovation and technological development in the mobile industry, the following trends have been identified:
- LTE is currently driving competition in the US and worldwide as chipsets are improving and networks are being rolled out worldwide (US, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Germany, and Norway). While initial devices were primarily targeting the US market, the ecosystem is slowly starting to mature outside band 13. In the mid-term, the increased number of frequency bands to be supported will be an obstacle to the development of devices able to operate on all networks.
- Augmented reality, the Internet of things and social networking are deeply linked and will be increasingly used in daily life. The ability of objects to communicate and actively or passively identify themselves will enable a greater interactivity between real life and social networks. Augmented reality will be improved by a better recognition of objects while sensors, in relation with geolocation technologies (indoor and outdoor), will enable a better service contextualisation.
- Cloud services will make mobile devices more independent of computers and allow an ecosystem to grow around smartphone devices communicating with ever more numerous smart objects such as watches and televisions as well as non-smart ones such as sensors and NFC tags. Application and contents will be available for consumption whatever the devices and will remain synchronised in the cloud.
- Artificial Intelligence as well as gesture recognition and interpretation will foster the development of natural user interfaces and the dissolution of user interface elements in favour of intuitive and direct contacts between the user and the content. The dissolution of technology in our daily life is a sign that a technology has been successful.
As far as evolution in form factors are concerned, the following trends have been identified:
- Reductions in component size will enable more components (and functionalities) to be embedded while staying more or less with the same size and weight. Battery life will remain similar in absolute terms in the years ahead but will be improved in relative terms (as compared to the amount of services and functionalities provided)
- Maximum screen size will not change significantly but devices within their categories will have a broader range of sizes to match with different price ranges. Innovation in the display will be achieved through increased resolution and connectivity. More and more functions (of which display) will be deported and the cloud will be central in the interface between mobile devices. Deported functionalities will use either larger equipment such as connected televisions in the home, or even more mobile and flexible devices such as smart watches or other wearable devices.
- Wearable devices will be part of the digital ecosystem thanks to even thinner screen with bending capabilities and Body Area Network Radio technologies. The development of wearable non-smart ‘devices’ will contribute together with the advent of new smart objects to the deportation of even more functions outside of the smartphone. In this ecosystem the smartphone will, however, remain the leading processing unit.
- As a matter of course, devices will progressively become water- and dust- resistant at least to a minimum extent. This is a natural evolution for devices that follow us in our everyday life, indoor but also outdoor. Such devices have already hit the market but currently remain niche products. Changes in the manufacturing process could easily make them more resistant to the minor dangers of daily life such as sand or rain.
- Together with this trend, wireless (but not contactless) charging capabilities will gradually penetrate mobile devices provided that wireless-charging infrastructures become available. Otherwise this will remain an option for higher-end devices
Senior Consultant Telecom Strategies at IDATE
> Visit our website for more information on this topic
Senior Consultant, Mobile Devices & Platforms Expert DigiWorld by IDATE
The new iPad unveiled by Apple yesterday was much as expected. Rumors during the run-up proved fairly accurate when it came to the main features of this third version of Apple’s tablet (especially retina display and 4G) and we believe that this update is a fairly solid response to what competitors have been able to produce so far. No groundbreaking features but rather improvements aimed at strengthening Apple’s position in the market.
Below are some thoughts on what we learned yesterday. These analyses build on our ongoing research on the mobile device market – as found in last year’s report on LTE devices (which is part of our LTE Watch service). If you are interested in this topic, an in-depth analysis of mobile device manufacturers’ strategy and future mobile device innovations, can be found in our upcoming report on Next Generation Mobile Devices which is due out in Q2 2012.
- Support for LTE is not necessarily the main advantage of the iPad as is a feature aimed chiefly at users in the US. The new iPad, powered by Qualcomm multimode LTE baseband, supports both 700 MHz and 2100 MHz LTE bands which in itself limits its interest worldwide. Those two bands are and won’t be the much used by operators when deploying their LTE networks. From a European perspective for instance, the device will need to support the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2.6GHz bands to be usable. But this is not a major issue, given the limited deployments so far in those frequency bands. What this LTE support tells us is how important Long-term evolution has become in the US as a differentiating argument in the mobile device market. It’s also impressive to see how much the US wireless market has evolved over last 4 years. Remember when the first iPhone was launched back in 2007, with no support for 3G because of those new-gen networks were still embryonic in America? Now, the US is at the forefront in deploying the latest radio access network technology, and Apple could not ignore it when targeting its domestic market. It is still unclear how far US operators have been pushing Apple to go that way, but one thing is sure: the announcement that the latest iPad supports LTE was clearly US-driven.
- Given the low rate of deployment for LTE networks outside the US (and Japan and South Korea which are the two other big LTE markets), and the increasing number of bands to be supported, supporting DC HSPA+ and HSPA+ was Apple’s only option to limit the number of different versions of the iPad and have 4G-branded iPads sold internationally. There has been a lot of debate over whether or not it was fair to use the term 4G for DC HSPA+ and HSPA+ technologies. They are indeed evolutions of 3G standards; their performance is an improvement over what we are used to and, for everyday uses, can be considered to deliver “LTE like” performance. We should also remember that even LTE is not considered by the 3GPP as a 4G technology: only LTE-Advanced and WiMAX IEE 802.16m are considered as such. In any even, from a market and network deployment perspective, supporting DC HSPA+ and HSPA+ was the best solution for the non-US market. Operators all over the world announce are upgrading their networks to this standard to able to support downlink rates of up to 42 Mbps (in dual carrier mode). The new iPad will support this maximum theoretical bitrate, while DC HSPA+ will eventually be able to sustain 84 Mbps. Plus these deployments will be in existing 3G bands, so Apple will not need to provide support for other bands.
- Apple is by no means the first device manufacturer to announce support for LTE. Samsung, HTC, LG and especially Motorola were first to launch such devices in the American, South Korean and Japanese markets. As we expected and noted in our report on LTE Devices and in our LTE Watch service insight last year, Apple has taken a more cautious approach in its release timetable, waiting for baseband solutions to be mature enough to lessen the number of wireless versions of the iPad, and enable Apple to provide a solid enough 4G experience in terms of battery life. Here, Qualcomm was the most relevant solution for Apple – providing the broadest support for RAN. As mentioned earlier, providing support for DC HSPA+ alongside LTE and CDMA2000 EV/DO was a strategic move on Apple’s part – both in terms of industrial process (reducing manufacturing and BOM costs) and marketing (being able to call it 4G worldwide).
- In terms of battery life, Apple could not afford any noticeable reduction in performance when using 4G. Of course new LTE basebands from Qualcomm (probably the MDM 9600) somehow reduced their footprint, but also forced Apple to perform some major reengineering to handle increased drain on the battery. This basically boils down to making more room for bigger batteries, without altering the form too much. The relative increase in the new device’s thickness (9.4mm as compared to 8.8mm for the iPad 2) is an indication of how challenging it was for Apple to provide support for LTE and deliver increased graphical performance required for the retina display. When we look at the specs, the new iPad battery is a 42.5 watt-hour unit, as compared to a 25 watt hour battery previously… so nearly twice the capacity as before. Impressive. It still remains to be seen how the new iPad compares to other LTE tablets. There appears to be a growing consensus around the web that the new iPhone will naturally support LTE as well. I’m not so sure, as the design constraints this involved for a smartphone are a whole other ball game. It will be much harder to make extra space for increased capacity battery. In any case, the technical challenges are big enough for me to think that, should it support LTE, the new iPhone will be rolled out in October rather than in June.
- The Retina display is probably the most obvious improvement. The previous iPad had just a standard resolution for a 9.7-inch display, but the pixel density of the new iPad really makes a difference … both with the previous model and with what the competition is offering. It is not sure how many of Apple’s display partners (LG? Samsung? Hitachi? Sharp? Panasonic?) are involved here, and if competitors will have access to this technology (it took some time for Apple’s competitors to release a smartphone with higher ppi than the iPhone 4S). What is certain is that Apple may well prevent its rivals from getting their hands on the technology by occupying the production channel. Given Apple’s unmatched capacity to order such components in very high volumes, its competitors will likely find it difficult to find enough components for their own devices.
- In all of this, there has been no mention of Amazon and its Kindle Fire… even though it is reported to be Apple’s most successful competitor in the tablet market. Apple still isn’t targeting this segment of the market overtly, even with a lower-priced iPad in its line-up. This may be a sign that, for Apple, Amazon is more a competitor for Android tablets than for the iPad which is aimed at the mid-range to high-end market.
Director of Studies - IDATE
IDATE has released recently its report "E-Book” which takes an in-depth look at the e-book market, and provides industry figures for 2008 to 2015. It breaks down the new digital value chain, identifies stakeholder strategies through some 20 case studies, details their business models and analyses the core technical issues (formats and portability, DRM, electronic ink, etc.).
“We expect the worldwide digital books market to grow at an average rate of 30% per year between 2010 and 2015 to reach 5.4 billion EUR in 2015, some 12% of the total book market. E-Book readers will also develop fast from 3.3 million units sold in 2010 to 29.8 million units sold in 2015, representing a 24% growth rate per year,”says Sophie Lubrano, project manager at IDATE. “Currently electronic-ink displays are the only solution for a comfortable reading experience, but the hybridization of tablets or other portable devices with e-reader will clearly be the compelling answer in a near future.”
Digital book market in million EUR vs E-reader sales in thousand units worldwide, 2008-2015
E-book markets are still on the rise
Digital book markets will continue to grow in the coming years:
- North America, a mature market, is expected to soon be reaching its cruising speed, with an average annual growth rate of 13% between 2012 and 2015. At that time, sales of e-books are expected to generate a turnover of around EUR 2.2 billion.
- Currently catching up, the five major European countries will experience higher growth on the same period, to reach in 2015 an overall turnover of about EUR 1.4 billion for an average annual growth rate of 30% over that period.
- Japan should experience a more chaotic development. While the annual growth rate of e-book sales appears to be stabilising around 12% in 2011 and 2012, the Japanese market should rebound in 2014, and even more in 2015. This dynamism can be especially explained by a rise in e-book sales on tablets and e-readers, in parallel to historical sales levels on smartphones. At that time, sales of digital books in Japan should total around EUR 1.7 billion, still ahead of the European top 5 market.
In addition, 2015 market share forecasts in terms of value and volume establish a clear distinction between two groups of countries in addition to the particular case of Japan, which corresponds neither to the North American model, nor to the continental European model.
The most advanced countries in terms of market share are the US, Canada and the UK. In terms of value, these markets should range from 13% for the UK to 18% for the United States. In terms of volume, the 2015 market share should reach 35% in the US, against 21% in the UK.
Analysis of the growth/disruption factors
The development of digital book markets is determined by four major factors.
The digital book offer
The digital book offer reflects the mind-set of publishers with respect to digital works. Outside the US, the catalogues available in each language remain relatively modest in size and should increase significantly in coming years.
In general, publishers opt for providing an electronic version of their new releases before embarking on the digitisation of their back catalogue.What is more, new genres historically adverse to the digital world are now converted into e-books since the advent of color tablets. Examples include comics, art books, photo books and cookbooks.
The price difference between digital and paper versions
After the offer of available contents, the price is the second determining factor in the rapid rise in e-book sales. In the United States, where the price of digital books is not regulated, an average price difference between printed books and e-books of almost 50% was recorded in 2010. Conversely, the difference is only 20% in France and does not encourage consumers to migrate to digital media.
By 2015, the various markets of the study should have reached a price difference of at least 44% (Italy, United Kingdom, Germany), and up to 60% in the United States.
The average price of an e-book on a given market depends largely on the regulatory framework in place. In countries where the price is not regulated, retailers regularly offer significant discounts on the books sold under the wholesale model for the benefit of consumers. Conversely, in countries where the sales price of e-books is regulated, publishers are able to harness and control the market’s evolution, and prices fall more slowly.
As a rule of thumb, to achieve mass consumption, an e-book should always be less expensive than the paperback version.
The presence of "big player" retailers
The take-off of a market also depends on the presence of powerful players able to cater their customers with attractive reading ecosystems. Globally, this highly competitive status is currently only coveted by Amazon, Apple and, eventually, Google. Although significantly smaller in size, Kobo has also opted for an international presence.
Locally, the markets are developing under the influence of national players such as the major print booksellers also involved in e-book sales and a few large telecom operators.
The penetration of connected devices
The digital book markets will be driven by the increasing penetration of connected reading devices: tablets and e-readers. On the one hand, the display technologies of tablets should improve, especially to reduce the backlight’s aggressiveness and the daylight reflections. On the other hand, e-readers based on electronic ink should gain in power and speed, and eventually offer color and video support. In addition, device prices should continue to drop (less than EUR 100 for e-readers), while the spread of connectivity (3G, Wi-Fi) will foster compulsive e-books purchases among consumers.
More information about this study and other IDATE research solutions on www.idate-research.com