IoT adoption is growing. Cities are becoming smarter by optimizing parking revenues, waste management and collection routing, street lighting operations, and more. Airlines use real-time aircraft, airport, and weather sensor data to improve operations. As organizations embrace IoT to transform their businesses, often the first step is to deploy sensors on machines and devices to convert physical measurements into digital signals that an IoT network can use. Sensors that measure pressure, motion, vibration, temperature, humidity, etc. can make assets more productive. And IoT integration platforms can use this data to support new product innovations, preventive and predictive maintenance, optimized marketing, and more.
Securely Connect New Things
For Service Providers, the immediate opportunity is to provide secure connections for IoT devices, sensors, and solutions across a range of access network types that vary in terms of cost, complexity, security, data transferred, and reliability. Cisco’s leading industry-tested access networking solutions for unlicensed (Wi-Fi, LoRa) and licensed (2G, 3G, LTE, NB-IoT, CAT-M1) radio enable SPs to offer appropriate class of services as demanded by IoT applications.
Customized IoT with a Cloud-Scale Mobile Core
The next natural role for Service Providers is to transport IoT data and signaling from securely connected devices back to a multi-access core with unified policy, charging and service capabilities. Cisco’s Ultra Service Platform is a fully virtualized, 5G-ready mobile core that runs on a virtual hardware instance for better performance, scalability, and cost. At MWC 2017, Cisco introduces “Ultra IoT”, which evolves the Cisco Ultra Service Platform to support the 3GPP Cellular IoT (CIoT) architecture. Ultra IoT is an access agnostic, virtualized mobile core optimized for IOT, including core network support for all 3GPP connectivity, including NB-IoT and CAT-M1.
Furthermore, Cisco Ultra IoT’s built-in network slicing capabilities allow Service Providers to deploy instant virtual mobile networks for IoT applications requiring customized services. A virtualized mobile network “slice” for Connected Vending machines can be provisioned differently for latency and bandwidth from another slice for a Connected Car service.
New Ways to Monetize IoT
The IoT end game for most organizations is to create new services for new revenue streams. For example, automakers eventually will sell not just vehicles, but transportation solutions, including support for new ownership models requiring seamless IoT connectivity – e.g., ride sharing, on demand, and shared ownership. Ultra IoT includes standardized open and secure APIs that provide SPs new ways of monetization by exposing network intelligence and capabilities to IoT applications.
Cisco has worked with SPs across the globe to deploy many horizontal and vertical IoT solutions, including Smart+Connected Communities, Connected Transportation, and Connected Asset Management (e.g., Financial, Telco, Utilities, Buildings, etc.). These solutions are based on reference architectures, validated network designs, and include Cisco and 3rd-party network products and services.
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