Striving for Industry Transformation in the IoT Boom

New IoT technologies are extensively changing city management and people's lifestyles, accelerating the digital transformation of industries. According to a market survey conducted by IDC and Gartner, more than 60% of industries are using (or implementing) IoT for production, logistics, sales, and operation & maintenance. It is estimated that by 2025, there will be 100 billion connections of things worldwide, at least 50% of which will come from intelligent manufacturing, agriculture, connected car, transportation, logistics, etc.

IoT Drives Industry Transformation for a New Economy and Great Value

In the new era of Internet, IoT, and big data, traditional industries in most countries are facing severe challenges.

• Demographic dividends are gradually being dismissed, and labor costs are continuously increasing.

• Traditional industry technologies and business models lead to the homogenization of products and services, resulting in low-price competition.

• Traditional management methods and tools cause low efficiency, and high operation and management costs.

The transformation of traditional industries is an important goal of economic reform in each country. Efficiency improvement, cost control, differentiated competition, and new business models are the objectives and directions of industry transformation. Informatization, digitalization, and industry convergence are the basis of and prerequisites for traditional industry transformation. In the fully connected IoT era, intelligent sensing of devices, big data analysis of platforms, and convergent innovation of industry applications will help all industries achieve smooth transformation. This will ultimately provide differentiated products and services for customers, and unleash the full potential of industry innovation.

1. In animal husbandry, cellular connection technology with low power consumption and wide coverage is widely used in high-value segmented fields. This allows real-time data collection and intelligent reconstruction for production and operation. For example, the one-stop NB-IoT solution is used at the dairy farms of China's Yinchuan city to accurately monitor cow activities. By increasing the estrus detection rate from 75% to 95%, this solution helps increase the revenue of each cow by CNY 2000 to 3000 every year. In addition, a large amount of manpower is freed from heavy, repetitive, and low-efficiency detection work.

2. In the white goods industry, NB-IoT technology with low power consumption helps the industry achieve full lifecycle management, covering production, distribution, logistics, maintenance, and recycling, which drives the transformation of traditional production, sales, and maintenance modes. In Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces of China, where a huge number of appliances are produced, NB-IoT can increase the online rate (network connection rate) of appliances to 100%. Real-time online tracing helps appliance vendors reduce unauthorized cross-regional transshipments by 80%. Through remote fault diagnosis, maintenance efficiency is improved by 50%. In addition, big data analysis of massive amounts of user behavior and habits helps vendors quickly optimize their designs and shorten the time-to-market of new products.

3. Connected car is another important application scenario of the IoT. By 2020, the number of vehicles around the world will reach 1.5 billion, 20% to 30% of which will be connected to the Internet in various forms. Vehicle positioning and tracking, fleet management, User Based Insurance (UBI), assisted driving, and automated driving will become daily applications, helping us improve driving security and reduce costs. For example, fleet management allows enterprises to trace vehicle positions, track vehicles in real time, and monitor driving behavior, ensuring efficient vehicle operation and management. This helps enterprises decrease fuel consumption, improve operational efficiency, and reduce the rate of accidents. Over the next few years, with the development of high-rate IoT technologies, Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology will make automated driving a reality. Through information exchange between vehicles and road devices, other vehicles, transportation facilities, and pedestrians, a series of traffic information, such as real-time road conditions, road information, and pedestrian information, can be obtained for intelligent driving control.

4. In the cold chain logistics industry, NB-IoT technology has been widely used to monitor the quality of high-end food and particular medicine. Through E2E positioning tracing and real-time temperature monitoring, E2E quality management, source tracing, and anti-counterfeiting are implemented for food and medicine in various scenarios, such as warehousing, transportation (high-speed railway and air), logistics centers, transit stations, and destinations (such as supermarkets and hospitals), to ensure the sense of food and the quality of medicine.

5. Even in the postal industry, new technology is springing to life and proving its worth. In Europe, postal carriers can remotely and accurately learn the vacancy rates of mailboxes and plan their delivery path accordingly to ensure the highest efficiency. This is all thanks to intelligent detection and real-time data transmission provided by NB-IoT technology. This can increase their delivery efficiency by 60%.

In conclusion, IoT is becoming more influential in quality and efficiency enhancement and in the transformation of industrial, agriculture, energy, transportation, logistics, and service areas. In 2017, NB-IoT technology was verified and applied in more than 40 industries, especially in China, Europe, and the Middle East. New industry technology standards are appearing based on IoT, and new industry applications are being widely used. IoT is the driving force behind a new wave of industry transformation.

Going Beyond Connections, Operators Embrace New Opportunities for Value Creation

In the wake of the Internet, IoT has become another competitive edge in industries, and the industry layout and ecosystem construction are being accelerated around the globe. Highly reliable cellular telecommunications networks with wide coverage and unified platforms are becoming the main body for service bearers. Operators are making efforts in terms of intelligent hardware, network connections, open platforms, cloud-and-network collaboration, and application integration to achieve the goal of "Massive Connectivity, Beyond Connections".

With the rapid development of IoT, operators need to focus on building capacity in the following three ways:

• Establish an IoT network with optimal experience. Connectivity of everything involves network access for various devices in different scenarios. Network access must be guaranteed anytime and anywhere, such as indoors, outdoors, in skyscrapers, or on remote farmlands. With the characteristics of IoT in mind, operators need to construct IoT networks with deep coverage, large capacity, automatic adaptation, self-planning, and easy maintenance, all on the basis of traditional telecommunications networks.

• Build a platform-based ecosystem. Although the IoT industry is a huge market, it is also a fragmented market, covering hundreds of industries and different devices, interfaces, applications, and data formats. Therefore, operators must use a unified, open, and fast-integration platform to accelerate service deployment. Ecosystems are a key factor for large-scale development. Currently, operators have done extensive work in the vertical industry chain ecosystem (NB-IoT chipsets, modules, and devices), formulated standards, and established industry alliances, driving the rapid development of the industry chain. The horizontal application ecosystem will be the focus of operators in the future. Operators will improve their capabilities and innovation in terms of system integration, after-sales services, marketing channels, and the market expansion of industry applications based on a horizontal, open platform

• Innovate business models and reconstruct the value chain. The IoT industry has a long value chain, and connections occupy only 5% to 10% of this. Therefore, operators need to go beyond connections and extend value chains by extending services from connections to platforms and cloud services, and then to system integration, marketing, and channels, to become real convergent service providers. In fields such as connected car, smart parking, connected cows, and street lamps, operators have discovered new business models. In these new models, operators can integrate third-party applications and devices and use their own channels and market resources to provide services in IoT as a service mode, doubling their revenue.

Huawei believes that the reliable cellular networks of operators will become the best bearer networks for IoT. Huawei will help operators expand and surpass connections in the following ways:

• Infrastructure: By providing industry-leading IoT chipsets and different access technologies, Huawei will help operators build high-quality networks and provide ubiquitous connections to adapt to various scenarios and industry requirements.

• Operation: Through IoT-based automatic planning tools, big data service analysis, and accurate E2E fault analysis, Huawei will help operators build thing-oriented optimal experience and improve the service quality for end users.

• Ecosystem: Based on the unified, open, and pre-integrated IoT cloud platform, Huawei will build a prosperous IoT ecosystem and collaborate with operators and partners to provide industry applications, promoting the commercialization of the IoT industry.

Smart connections that integrate IoT, big data, and AI are changing our traditional industries. New technology standards and applications are being reshaped. This will undoubtedly lead to a new era of industry competition.