The Internet of Things and Network Convergence: How Consumer Use Will Impact Networks
This blog is part of a
series highlighting current events, real-world examples of network convergence,
and industry trends demonstrating why consumer habits will drive more
integrated and efficient networks. Consumers expect quick and seamless
connections so they can access the information they need wherever and whenever
they need it to accomplish the things that matter most to them; therefore,
leading to the necessity of network convergence.
Many times, when people hear the term “Internet of Things (IoT),” they either have no clue what it is or
immediately think of the new Amazon commercials about the dad turning on his sprinkler
system to get rid of an unwanted guest or the mom accessing
information about poison oak symptoms.
Generally defined as connecting normal objects to the Internet to be able to
send and receive data, IoT is a relatively new concept, but is becoming vastly
more important to the lives of many consumers.
While most IoT topics focus on smart devices, many consumers
are more interested in how these devices can meet their specific needs—such as saving time, accessing important
information and creating more efficiency in their lives. As consumers
increasingly depend on IoT devices—even perhaps without realizing it—network
convergence plays an imperative role in helping operators meet consumer IoT
According to Gartner, consumers will invest in more than 26
billion IoT devices by 2020. Many
individuals will be investing in IoT because they want to save time by
automating processes. This enables them to focus on what is important to them,
such as their families, jobs and hobbies. The new Mercedes-Benz commercial
is one of the best examples I have seen regarding how modern families integrate
IoT devices into their normal lives to save time and prioritize important
While IoT devices
can help save time, they are only as good as the network infrastructure on
which they run. The challenge for operators is to ensure that networks
are converged so IoT devices can run quickly and effectively.
Another reason the IoT industry is expected to generate
trillion in value to the global economy by 2025 is that consumers have
become dependent on the ability to access information at any time.
Constant access to real-time information will be a major
driver for consumer investment in IoT. Cisco
analysts estimate that, by 2020, the total amount of data from IoT will be
around 600 zettabytes per year—275 times higher than current data traffic being
sent from data centers to end-user devices.
The transfer of this data relies on networks—and, even more
importantly, on the quality of the network. As IoT devices become more valuable
in accessing information, the value of a quality network will also increase;
therefore, network convergence will ultimately play a major role in rapidly
delivering information to consumers.
Many current IoT devices are focused on increasing
efficiency, such as the Nest thermostat,
which automatically adapts the temperature of a home to increase efficiency and
reduce energy costs. But consumers not only want these devices to provide
efficient results, they also want their experience with these devices to be
efficient. Rather than having to set up two or three systems for a device to
work, they want one consolidated platform that is easy to install, use and
Just as consumers rely on the efficiency of their IoT
devices, IoT devices rely on the converged efficiency of the network
infrastructure on which they run. To increase the efficiency of their
infrastructure, operators are focusing on how to converge their networks.
Advances in IoT device technology are still relatively new.
Consumers are still trying to figure out how they want to integrate IoT devices
into their daily lives. This is a perfect time for operators to focus on how to
best monetize the future of this growing industry. Converged networks will play
a pivotal role in ensuring that consumers can fully utilize IoT technology to
enjoy an increasingly digital lifestyle.
About the Author
Jessica Epley is a
content development specialist for CommScope and enjoys helping others learn
more about how current technology trends are impacting global network
infrastructures. She primarily focuses on developing content to highlight data
center and wireless mobility networks. Jessica brings to CommScope four years
of marketing experience working in higher education. She is a graduate of the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in management and
recently received her Master of Business Administration degree from Appalachian