As adoption of connected devices extends beyond consumers to enterprise and industrial applications, the need for connectivity will evolve to suit the specific demands of each industry. From self-driving cars to healthcare IoT, connected networks will need a blend of several key areas to ensure fast, reliable, and secure connections.
Cellular connections have always been thought of as consumer-focused connectivity. It’s time that enterprises start thinking and adopting cellular connectivity in their connected products. To make the cellular journey up the mountain memorable, think of these five drivers.
With the advent of globalization, a product is built in one country, packaged in a separate one and then usually sold in another, distributed and resold in yet a different area. Cellular connectivity gives enterprises an ability to connect everything irrespective of which location the devices originate or function.
The requirement for connection across any location comes in to the picture for devices that need connectivity, regardless of the condition. Cellular is growing with warehouse robots and autonomous cars – devices that are always on the move. You also see this in emergency connections or medical devices – applications where connectivity interruptions could be a matter of life and death.
Take the example of a medical device, which moves with the patient. It must be connected 24/7 for patient health and safety reasons. To ensure uninterrupted connection and flexibility, healthcare IoT manufacturers and enterprises enlist cellular connections to rise to the critical occasion.
Cellular connections offer additional independence. They don’t turn on or because of environmental reasons like power outages. They also ensure connection despite heavy user traffic. With 5G technology, this reliability ascends to the next level with increased handling for bigger capacities and more traffic. In these cases, numerous devices can all talk with the network at the same time, since 5G can handle the larger load.
The connectivity and resiliency that accompanies 5G also helps enterprises aiming to address use cases that require absolute uptime on reliability and availability. Applications that have zero tolerance for hiccups in this area can include remote operations of cranes or other expensive, heavy machinery. Additionally, any network unavailability can cause detrimental downtime, which also negatively impacts the business.
Another positive aspect of cellular connections is how easy they are to scale. The SIM for each device can be activated instantaneously, with zero-touch connectivity and remote provisioning. Little effort is needed to set up a cellular connection. Everything from initialization through billing is automatically taken in to consideration.
The other easy facet for this type of approach is that enterprises only pay for what they use. Cellular connectivity provides the flexibility to activate or deactivate device SIM information easily. Enterprises of any size can use cellular connectivity. There is no minimum requirement, and hence the business case is very strong, even for startups.
For companies that create connected products, the important information to know is where the product is and how it is operating. No enterprise would want connected products to face hacked connections or to be operating in a way they were not initially programmed. Cellular connections are automatically encrypted. Plus, they enable individuals to separate data from public traffic.
Security is the most important feature of a connected product. Whether it is a smart door lock or a connected vehicle, it is crucial that security is all taken care of by default. Cellular connectivity provides telecom operator-grade security, which also factors for where and how the data is stored. This also ensures the data is heavily regulated, which means it can only be used for a known and agreed-upon purpose, maintaining user privacy as well.
Total cost of ownership
For enterprise applications, connectivity costs are on the decline. Businesses gain efficiencies and save costs as the prices decrease for hardware, data processing and other needs. Additionally, with decreased downtime, wider geographic coverage and other advantages growing with cellular connectivity, enterprises can increase adoption for greater customer satisfaction and an improved bottom line at scale.
Climb the crest
The dynamic landscape is an environment that healthcare technology knows all too well. In the pursuit of healthcare IoT, connected devices need the perfect blend of these five areas.
By using cellular connections, healthcare can deliver new levels of data sharing and patient care. Brighter, a Swedish health tech company, endeavors to reduce the complications of chronic diseases and improve quality of life through connected health devices. With its connected digital ecosystem of devices, patients can share data with family, healthcare providers and other stakeholders. One device, Actiste, measures glucose levels and insulin injections for diabetics, including logging the information automatically.
In order to bring this level of diabetes support worldwide, Brighter needed the global connectivity footprint with Ericsson and other partners. Cellular connectivity allowed for consumers and healthcare providers to have a unified experience around the world. The team was also able to ensure data gathering, security and sharing was in compliance with local and global regulations. Because Brighter was able to localize service according to local operators, the connectivity ecosystem of partners helped reduce Brighter’s go-to-market investment, paving the way for better revenue opportunities.
The journey to a well-connected future is growing like a wave, and enterprises can surf the swell of opportunities for new business models and improved customer satisfaction.
Read the full customer case to learn how healthcare IoT makes the most of cellular connectivity.
If you are an enterprise considering cellular connectivity and device management options for connecting your product, we can help.
Read the first part of this series
“Why enterprises need connected products to connect with their future”