The Internet of Things, or IoT for short, is changing the way telecom companies plan for future traffic. With just about everything and anything being connected to the cloud, from smartphones to smarthouses to the GPS in your car to the fitness band on your arm, it's going to be more important than ever to have an internet provider who can ensure connectivity to whatever you're using wherever you are.
How Large Is the IoT?
The IoT is growing exponentially, with consumers going mad over every type of connected device from wearables to cloud music players. It is already a multi-billion dollar market that is expected to reach almost $2 trillion by 2020 with an estimate of 13-25 billion connected devices.
How are Telecom Companies Preparing for the IoT?
The problem service providers are looking at is an explosive increase in data traffic, which will need a huge infusion of capital to build infrastructure, such as data centers, to handle it. They are currently studying a vast amount of analytics of their network traffic to find how better to serve their customers. Being able to manage the volume, velocity and variety of data that comes through the IoT will be the biggest challenge.
What Does So Many Interconnected Devices Mean for Security?
Security is serious consideration for those planning for the future in the IoT. Even with smartphones, the consumer has very little control over his cellular connection. Imagine what it will be like trying to protect billions of devices and connections to the cloud. Attacks on critical infrastructure in the U.S. are continual and several have been successful. Consumers depend on their service providers to ensure a secure connection, but that is impossible, even now. With so much data moving through the cloud, there will be more opportunities for hackers to tap into it.
What Can Consumers Do to Protect Themselves?
First, choose your internet service provider carefully. Be sure they are able to handle the traffic and give you the performance you want on the most secure connection possible. Most providers are happy to give you whatever information you need on what their capacity, security levels and protocols mean for you. But what about open wifi signals? All you can do is to get the most secure software for your devices that is possible. Make sure before you buy a device that you really want to risk having that data compromised.
Talk to your internet service provider about their plans for the booming growth of the IoT and what that will mean for you. Connectivity will be vitally important in the future, so it's always good to know that your telecom provider is looking out for your better interests.