MWC 2017: The evolution of connectivity and new uses for IoT

Mirian Martinez Varas    27 February, 2017

The nature of Internet of Things is the connection between devices, between platforms, between actions and between people. Connectivity is crucial in a world of growing needs, which in turn creates new ways of using and enjoying it. The greatest technological promises of the year will be showcased at MWC 2017. It will be a perfect venue to grasp this connectivity between devices, software and people in a unique way.

The things that really matter

Connectivity is a concept that goes far beyond purely technical language. Connectivity links people with things that are important to them: with their loved ones and friends, with their belongings, and with the places where they live. Thanks to technology, Telefónica helps make this connection between people easier and more comfortable. Through technology, it allows devices and services to be integrated, providing a simple digital interaction that enriches and simplifies everyday life. These solutions drive digital transformation, creating a more natural interconnected world where IoT is a living, natural and evolving network.

Life is a collection of settings with people at the core. Each of them presents new forms and challenges for technology. New use cases and improvements on current functionalities appear thanks to new connectivity models, such as NarrowBand-IoT and LTE-M standard. Thus, we can find applications designed for what matters to us the most. One example is a helmet connected by NB-IoT that allows us to follow Alzheimer patients and be warned in case they have any mishaps. Smart soles can do this, too, as well as help consistently monitor the sport we do, making the most of connectivity.

Pets owners can also benefit from technology. Dogsens takes advantage of connectivity to control pets’ status and activity, getting information from recorded data filtered by experts. And, of course, the ability to always be connected in a coherent and economical way would not reach its full potential without Lock & Found, a device to ensure that our most valuable items are always locatable. If Telefónica works first to connect its customers, second to give them control over this connectivity and third to offer them service capabilities and distinguishing experiences. Now it goes beyond by offering advanced data capabilities. Now is the moment of Telefónica AURA.

It comes at a time when it is essential to break down barriers, not physical barriers, but ideas and concepts. This would not be possible without an excellent connectivity and experiences. Communication is the basis of knowledge and of every human relationship. Thanks to technology, that communication can be extended and intertwined between people and devices, creating new dimensions. This technology is transforming our homes, our means of transport and our work environments. It is also changing the way we communicate and do things. Connectivity is the basis of this entire transformation. All these connections generate huge amounts of data to be managed. With Telefónica AURA, customers go from merely connecting for communication or even measure to have the control of data. Hence, the next step is to use this data to understand and predict.

This is the basis of the concept of the fourth platform that Telefónica will highlight during the Mobile World Congress 2017. With Telefónica AURA clients not only can decide remotely control the various functionalities from the interaction created but also analyse and understand the data that they control. This way, they can manage and plan their actions more strategically and anticipate their needs. End users, cities or even industry can all benefit from the fourth platform thanks to the digital technologies that enable this evolution in connectivity. The fourth platform emphasises the true value of data, its privacy evaluation and its management.

The evolution of connectivity

The development of LPWA technologies and standards is a promise of expansion for cellular services. But not only that: Telefónica is also committed to the NB-IoT and LTE-M standards and is planning to implement soon. The company has already had its first experience with NB-IoT clients in LATAM. Likewise, the signing of a global agreement with Sigfox allows to complement its connectivity offer to individual cases and adjusted to client needs . Besides, Open Labs, with open research and innovation environments around new connectivities  are also a proof of the LPWA focus. The Open Future initiative promotes the creation of an ecosystem through interoperability development and collaboration among partners.

Evolution beyond connectivity is visible in the success achieved with clients. For example, Hertz’s service will be expanded, improving its customers’ experience thanks to IoT solutions from Telefónica, which offers telemetry and tracking tools. Gocco, on the other hand, will benefit from solutions such as digital labels, smart fitting rooms, social Wi-Fi, smart music and dynamic marketing in its stores, becoming one of the flagship Smart Retail projects thanks to Telefónica. In the evolution of connectivity that has led to the emergence of new uses, Telefónica has promoted the creation of initiatives that focus on a collaborative ecosystem of partners; open environments that allow the development of IoT to be promoted and accelerated in all possible scenarios involving people; security-based solutions, especially end-to-end security, as demonstrated by its partnership with Eleven Paths and active participation in the GSMA security working group on IoT; and the Onlife Telco spirit that allows technological development and the evolution of connectivity to be people-centred.

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