Future Planning for IoT and WiFi

As a result of the evolution of broadband, IoT is set up to flourish with new partnerships and growing adoption rates. We will break down the top influencing trends in broadband and the large scale impact they will have on the IoT market.

Wi-Fi 6 and 6 GHz Band

Wi-Fi 6 is more than just a boost in Internet speeds. Even just the name of Wi-Fi 6 is a milestone, making a Wi-Fi standard a household name and leaving the previous technical name of 802.11ax to the IT crowd. Wi-Fi 6 boasts increased speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity. These three elements are vital in binding broadband with IoT innovations.

The recently announced 6 GHz band is also being explored, with the Wi-Fi Alliance looking to move into the spectrum as it becomes available. Wi-Fi 6E enabled devices will have all the features of Wi-Fi 6 with the added benefit of getting access to the 6 GHz band for even better performance.

5G Rollout

As the latest cellular standard, 5G boasts improved speeds and higher capacity. Though it seems obvious that 5G brings improvements to mobile networking and smartphone technology, the improvements in speeds and reduced network congestion are actually exceptionally transformative, impacting the development of mobile phone services and other technologies for years to come. 5G has the capability of supporting billions of connected devices and services and enables the development of IoT innovations, AI and immersive virtual reality (VR) technologies. While 5G promises to change the connected world, Intel predicts that it will take years for 5G networks to become commonplace.

10G Platform

In response to 5G and Wi-Fi 6, the cable industry is making strides to remain competitive by developing a 10G platform. 10G is a broadband technology platform that is expected to deliver residential Internet speeds of 10 gigabits per second. These improved speeds allow for ultra HD video streaming or playing online games with zero lag. In addition to exceptional speeds, the network also promises lower latency, higher reliability and better security. Currently, many Americans can access speeds of 1 gigabit per second via cable broadband networks. 10G networks will use existing fiber infrastructure to seamlessly transition customers to 10G speeds.

What to Expect from IoT

Wi-Fi 6, 5G and 10G set the foundations for IoT to build on and grow. Growing adoption rates, security concerns and improvements, and breakthrough improvements to AI and big data are driving factors that will open doors for the IoT market.

IoT Adoption Growth

IoT adoption is predicted to grow from 26.66 billion connected devices to 30.73 billion. The healthcare subsection of IoT, the Internet of medical things, is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 26.2%, enabling mobile health applications and virtual assistants to monitor patient’s health at home.

Increased adoption rates create higher demand for big data technology like edge computing and artificial intelligence (AI). Edge computing is another emerging IoT technology that is expected to see greater adoption. Edge computing allows data to be stored in a local network node. As a result, the IoT device isn’t dependent on an Internet connection and can function as a standalone network node, in a similar way that a router functions as a network node. Edge computing offers increased data security, better app performance, reduced operational costs, and unlimited scalability to scale the IoT network as needed. IoT Security Remains a Top Concern IoT devices play a larger role in consumer lives now than ever before. As connected devices gather more personal data, IoT and cybersecurity continue to be a topic of concern. With 5G and IoT, large amounts of data can be collected, stored and shared across devices. IoT devices are often missing security checkpoints and 65% of consumers are concerned about a hacker controlling their IoT device and 60% are concerned about data being leaked.

IoT Security Remains a Top Concern

IoT devices play a larger role in consumer lives now than ever before. As connected devices gather more personal data, IoT and cybersecurity continue to be a topic of concern. With 5G and IoT, large amounts of data can be collected, stored and shared across devices. IoT devices are often missing security checkpoints and 65% of consumers are concerned about a hacker controlling their IoT device and 60% are concerned about data being leaked.

Smart Home Consortium

One of the biggest IoT market flaws is the lack of an open source-standard for smart home connectivity. A smart home consortium called the Connected Home Over IP group was designed to address this by creating a ratified, royalty-free, multi-source wireless standard. The consortium consists of major IoT players like Amazon, Google, Apple and the Zigbee Alliance. If successful, IoT companies can offer secure and reliable communications across multi-vendor smart devices, apps and services. This ultimately would unite the fragmented smart home ecosystem by allowing devices from different brands or manufacturers to communicate.

IoT and Network Management Challenges

Modern networks face a lot of challenges in the coming year, especially in terms of IoT devices. Network security, IoT devices, and network connectivity troubleshooting are pain points for consumers and service providers alike. Fortunately, network management tools are growing in popularity to improve network security and help manage all the devices connected to the network. Optim is one example of a managed service assurance platform that was designed to make network management accessible and easy for consumers through their service provider. Using a network management platform, consumers can view the devices connected to their network, manage network security settings, and resolve basic networking issues by themselves. Network management solutions can improve network performance while reducing the number of calls to tech support. In addition, services like Optim use AI and machine learning technology to automatically identify potential problems and provide real-time data and analytics to providers for overall network health.

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