Moving from products to services – servitization – is something we in the IoT world have been talking about for a long time. Now, with digitalization in manufacturing well underway, more and more companies are understanding the benefits of making this move. Of course, it’s no secret that the subscription economy has impacted how we consume everything from music and movies to cars and printers. The subscription business model/servitization moves away from one-time transactions and instead allows companies to build loyal, long-term relationships with customers, delivering customer-centric services while also creating predictability. According to the Subscription Economy Index, companies that moved towards a subscription-based business model grew six times faster than traditional businesses in 2020.

The benefits of servitization are myriad. The first and perhaps most important benefit is that it allows you to meet customer demands, which ultimately leads to greater customer retention, something we all need to focus on as customer requirements increase. Another benefit is that customers only pay for the value received from a supplier, while the manufacturer no longer has to focus solely on units sold, and instead builds a profitable business from regular streams of additional, incremental revenue. Additionally, useful insights into future R&D processes can be gained by analyzing the performance of a product and using this information for continuous improvement.

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Servitization is not about new pricing models or financial constructs, it’s about creating a new relationship with customers, one built on loyalty and one that requires companies to no longer focus solely on consumption, not on units sold.

When it comes to manufacturing, the question is if this customer-driven model works for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), where customers can ‘rent’ or gain access to machinery and industrial equipment for a recurring fee or subscribe to various add-ons? Through the use of IoT-enabled sensors and devices, the answer is a resounding yes.

A good example of this is Rolls Royce’s TotalCare program for aircraft engines. The company no longer simply sells engines to airlines. Instead, it invoices them on a Power-by-the-Hour basis, while continually monitoring the engines. This means airlines no longer need to buy, operate, or maintain engines, nor do they have to train personnel on repairs, or purchase and store spare parts. Instead, if an engine needs servicing, Rolls Royce takes care of it. And if the engine breaks down? The responsibility again falls on Rolls Royce. This allows both the airline and Rolls Royce to focus on what they do best: the airline moving passengers from point A to point B and Rolls Royce delivering a reliable service for its engines.

Rolls Royce is able to do this through embedded machine sensors and devices, which provide a steady stream of data on aircraft engine health metrics. In other words, the data that is fed back to the manufacturer provides information on the condition of parts and the overall product, allowing Rolls Royce to engage in predictive maintenance – i.e., address any challenges such as wear and tear or even potential failures long before they ever become a real problem, or, should anything break unexpectedly, Rolls Royce is automatically notified, allowing them to respond quickly.  This keeps equipment in service and also leads to an extended lifecycle, so it’s win-win for both Rolls Royce and its customers.

There are a number of compelling reasons why manufacturers should consider servitization:

Revenue growth & profitability

By adding services to your offering, you increase your number of revenue streams and those become recurring. Complimenting your existing product portfolio with ongoing services to your customers allows your income to become more predictable and secure, which in turn helps insulate you from fluctuating market conditions or a slow sales month.

Equipment complexity

We all know that machines and other equipment have become increasingly complex and technical, and it isn’t really possible for all customers to have the required level of expertise to effectively maintain their equipment. You, as the manufacturer, have the requisite knowledge and experience needed to not just understand how to operate and perform maintenance on machines, but to also advise on how to best maximize performance.

Improved customer outcomes

Focusing on solutions instead of products allows you to think in terms of your customers’ needs and goals, which means you can adapt products and services to help them achieve those outcomes, as well as helps you to respond faster to issues and challenges that may arise. The resulting increase in customer satisfaction builds a stronger relationship and increased loyalty.

Higher entry barriers

The more established your relationship with you customers, the more difficult it is for someone to come in and steal market share. Servitization means your customers benefit from your support and knowledge in real terms, every day.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can help your business, please get in touch.

Industrial IoT (IIoT) leverages connectivity to optimize manufacturing and industrial processes through the use of smart sensors and devices. IIoT enables end-to-end visibility of the production process, and the network of connected devices, smart machines, and real-time analytics produces a slew of data – both real-time and historical – that brings new levels of productivity, efficiency, and cost savings.

Here are just some of the benefits Industrial IoT brings:

Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring allows you to visualize, track, and control both your facility and your assets without having to be onsite. Through the use of IoT technology, you gain greater visibility into things like asset performance, resource consumption, and equipment lifecycles and functionality.

Predictive Maintenance

More than 75% of equipment and system failures occur without notice. Through the use of sensors, IIoT does away with scheduled – often unnecessary – maintenance; instead, you are able to identify anomalies or problems with your equipment in real-time, allowing you to address challenges swiftly and minimizing downtime. This improves productivity and helps you to avoid costly repairs, while making better use of your maintenance staff.

Improved Workflows & Processes

Monitoring the entire production line helps identify bottlenecks, process gaps, and other challenges that can delay production, while also enabling more efficient planning and optimization of any line’s accuracy, speed, and production volume.

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With IoT sensors monitoring your entire line, planning becomes more accurate, and workflows and processes improve.

Reduce Human Error

Real people will continue to be essential for many tasks, but IIoT will bring digitalization to every step of your operation, leading to a reduction in manual processes and interventions. Smart sensors deployed across your factory floor will provide constant feedback. So, for example, if there is an accident, the entire facility can be alerted to potential hazards, while machines will automatically halt, and maintenance staff dispatched. Wearables can also be employed, such as smart wristbands that feature sound pressure level sensors that warn staff of loud areas where hearing can be damaged. Smart hardhats can track not just the wearer’s location, they can also monitor heartrate, temperature, and humidity – and even warn wearers of dangers such as heatstroke long before any symptoms arise.

Sustainability & Energy Savings

Industrial accounts for 54% of global delivered electricity, which means it’s not great for sustainability and it’s not great for your bottom line. Continuous monitoring of your setup via sensors and devices can expose wastefulness due to inefficiencies.  IIoT also allows you to predict energy demands and optimize future energy consumption – and this includes not just managing your equipment, but your overall operation, such as managing building temperature, water usage, humidity, and lighting. Additionally, as IoT technology evolves, sensors are using less energy, another bonus for your bottom line.

IoT continues to drive the digitalization and datafication of both businesses and society in general. Connected healthcare, autonomous robots, smart farming… everything around us is being connected and as IoT technologies continue to mature, further benefits will be found, particularly with 5G and LTE-M as drivers.

So, as we move into massive IoT, what are some of the biggest trends we can expect to emerge or mature during 2022?

Healthcare

IoT has been enabling healthcare for a number of years already, and with the global pandemic still a reality, further innovations will emerge.  Connected healthcare is a broad use case, of course, encompassing everything from fitness trackers and remote monitoring to connected medical centers and telemedicine. The advances in connected healthcare have led to improved outcomes and better quality of life for patients.

One continued trend within healthcare will be the use of IoT devices to collect data on patient conditions. Using IoT devices means avoiding bringing large numbers of potentially infectious people together in close quarters, something that is critical during a pandemic. IoT devices and telecare will also allow doctors to continue to provide medical attention to a greater number of patients without the risk of infection via in-person visits Additionally, IoT devices will make healthcare available in more remote areas where there is less access to doctors or medical facilities. And speaking of medical facilities, IoT technology will be further integrated into everything from wheelchairs and defibrillators to oxygen pumps and even soap dispensers to ensure smoother operations at facilities.

And even connected drones are getting into the healthcare picture: Swedish company Everdrone, which delivers defibrillators via drone, recently delivered an emergency defibrillator in just three minutes. The connected drone was carrying a lightweight and easy to use defibrillator that arrived on the scene faster than first responders, something that surely saved the 71-year-old man’s life. These kinds of connected technologies will continue to expand within healthcare, leading to more successful outcomes, particularly in emergency situations.

5G growth

5G and IoT go together like peanut butter goes with jelly – and with 5G expansion will continue to accelerate IoT adoption in 2022. Why? Because successful IoT solutions increasingly require low latency and hyper connectivity, two things that 5G technology brings to the IoT table. As 5G coverage expands and 5G roaming agreements are hammered out, businesses will be able to offer services that would previously have been too costly or logistically difficult. Faster data transfers, increased coverage, and energy efficiency will become prime drivers of IoT growth and development.  That said, security concerns will continue to need attention, which means enhanced security will be another trend during 2022.

Security

Security has always needed to be top of mind when it comes to IoT and the expansion of 5G is only going to increase the need for enhanced security, in part due to the resultant increased number of IoT devices and thus attack surfaces.  The first half of 2021 saw 1.5 billion attacks against IoT devices, and this trend will not subside if security doesn’t become job one. Given that roughly 15% of businesses deploying IoT have not updated their security protocols and that there are very few government standards requiring businesses to stay on top of cybersecurity, it is imperative that IoT providers take up the slack and ensure their customers’ IoT solutions are not vulnerable.

The good news is that everyone from connectivity providers to hardware manufacturers are taking security much more seriously, and they are making sure that customers do as well. Additional layers of security are being added and the data collected from connected devices can actually be used to predict and prevent cyberattacks. There will be even more focus on cybersecurity tools in 2022 and businesses will increasingly understand that addressing cybersecurity is an essential part of their IoT solutions.

Sustainability

Sustainability will continue to be an important technology trend, with IoT in particular being used to facilitate any number of use cases. Everything from optimized fuel consumption in transportation to controlling, measuring and managing renewable energy sources such as solar panels will benefit from IoT solutions. Taking regular temperature and soil humidity measures in forests to prevent potential forest fire, utilizing water level sensors to enhance flood warning systems, using sensors on streetlights to measure and collect data about air quality – the possibilities will continue to grow during 2022.

Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry has always been a bit slow in adopting new technologies and IoT is no different – but 2022 will see that change. Manufacturers are now clear as to how IoT can benefit their setup and save them money. From preventive maintenance that reduces or eliminates production delays to enhanced operational efficiencies and improved safety – IoT brings a lot of benefits to not just the factory floor but also to the C-suite. You can learn more about the Internet of Industrial Things (IIoT) in the Tele2 White Paper.

Mobile Private Networks (MPN) are dedicated local networks that enable businesses to connect things using 4G or 5G technology. MPNs offer high quality and reliable security and control, covering a specific location while also addressing capacity and critical communication needs.  MPNs use WIFI, LTE or 5G technology and can be tailored to your requirements. But not all Mobile Private Networks are created equal, so before you decide which one is right for your business, it’s important to understand the differences.  

A Mobile Private Network, unlike public networks, offers private reserved coverage where, among other things, critical functions can be prioritized and security enhanced. But while the rise of 5G has caused a flurry of excitement around the topic of MPNs, private LTE and WIFI-based private networks are not new. They may not yet be widespread but, like 5G, they have their role to play in this space. 

WIFI 

WIFI-based private networks are ideal for things like document management, automated ticketing, gas sensors, and other applications that don’t carry a heavy load or where you don’t need to be 100% accurate. It will be reliable and cost effective within certain perimetersThat said, the more the load increases the more WIFI’s reliability goes down – and after a certain latency it is almost impossible to provide services.  

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With WIFI, reliability decreases in direct relation to an increased load.

This means that you cannot provide low latency connectivity service for autonomous vehicles, for example, as they require almost 1 millisecond latency to be able to operate perfectly. Lower latencies are not possible and even normal latencies are not reliable, which is why WIFI is perfect for things like environmental sensing or behavioral analysis or other non-real time monitoring, but not so great for intruder detection.  

LTE 

With LTE, reliability increased with the load, so it is reliable up to certain latency. Once you reach that threshold – about 100 milliseconds – the reliability goes down and while it doesn’t decrease as quickly as with WIFI, it’s not possible to provide super-low latency and won’t have the reliability some businesses might require.   

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You can’t use LTE for autonomous vehicles, but you can use it for monitoring and controlling in real time, such as with e-scooters, sound monitoring, and geo-fencing.

This is also where you can have cable replacement. In transitional coverage on campuses you have cables and certain type of machinery that require high bandwidth and reliability. Because this doesn’t exist in WIFI, many use cables. With LTE you can start to replace those cables for many applications. This means cost cutting, because cables are expensiveand laying fiber cables is even more expensive because they are glass and you cannot even bend them. Cables also lock you in; imagine that you’ve laid out your cables and then your business starts to boom, and you need to scale. It will be a logistical nightmare to put in another line of production or switch the layout of your manufacturing plant if you’re relying on cables. LTE solves this problem  

5G 

When it comes to Mobile Private Networks, 5G has the most reliability, even with high loads. It’s also possible to have reliable and super low latency connectivity in the widest area possible. So, you can have control loops with guaranteed latency. This means there is a control loop mechanism guaranteeing latency everywhere in the plant, allowing things like autonomous vehicles to operate everywhere with super high precision, such as screwing things in or feeding production lines. And while 5G can cover the needs of WIFI and LTE, only 5G will be suitable for things alarm prediction, certain e-health applications, or evacuation assistance.  

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We should also highlight worker augmentation when we talk about 5G and Mobile Private Networks – they will perhaps be one of the earliest adopted use cases by enterprises.

With augmentation where workers on-site or in the field are augmented with high bandwidth devices with video sharing capabilities to be able to tap into remote centers of expertise in real-time, consult online databases, and interrogate connected equipment with AR status information overlay. This can be interpreted as AR/VR/XR devices and high bandwidth video cameras will become much more important on 5G mobile private networks.  

If you would like to learn more about how Tele2 IoT can enable your business, please get in touch.

5G has launched, while at the same time some of the 2G and 3G networks are being phased out. But while the need for high bandwidth, speed, and reliability is growing, the majority of IoT connections, such as solutions for alarm systems, asset tracking, and smart meters, don’t have requirements for maximum speed and throughput. Instead, they need simplicity and network efficiency. This is where LTE-M comes into play. 

What is LTE-M? 

LTE-M is a low power wide area cellular technology specifically designed for IoT. It prioritizes low power, minimal infrastructure, powerful reach over long distances, and scalability for large or growing deployments, allowing the connection of simple devices that transmit low volumes of data over long periods of time with low power consumption.  LTE-M also supports relatively fast data throughput, mobility, roaming, and voice services.  

Top benefits of LTE-M include: 

  • Long battery life 
  • Better coverage for remote/hard to reach devices
  • Lower power consumption

Why LTE-M? 

From a technical standpoint LTE-M has a number of advantages, and is particularly useful for devices without access to a power supply and thus require a long battery life. With long standby times and at least ten years of battery-powered operation, it is well-suited to remote solutions without easy access to power,  such as underground meters. 

LTE-M also offers significantly better indoor coverage in locations where it is difficult to connect devices using standard GSM technology, which means devices can still upload data in real time. It uses 4G, so when it comes to speed and latency, performance is good, and it also has access to data/voice/SMS communication channels. This is of particular importance when it comes to things like emergency equipment such as elevators and remote assistance devices. Even more importantly, LTE-M will eventually become an integral part of 5G, which guarantees its longevity, so you won’t need to change your device as technology evolves.  

When it comes to costs, LTE-M offers excellent value. Modules are less expensive and with extended stand-alone power, you will see a significant reduction in things like technician call outs, while also limiting the number of devices you need to replace.  

Unlike other technologies LTE-M handles hand-over between cell towers, making it ideal for mobile use cases. For example, if a vehicle crosses different network cells, an LTE-M device behaves just like a mobile phone, never dropping the connection – it doesn’t need to re-establish a new connection. 

Key LTE-M applications:

Smart meters

LTE-M easily enables monitoring utility applications via regular and small data transmissions, while its extended range means better coverage in hard to reach areas

Automotive & transport

Full hand-over between networks makes LTE-M ideal for use cases with medium data rate needs, such as asset tracking and fleet management

Smart healthcare

With its extended in-building range, mobility, and voice support, LTE-M is particularly suited for connected health applications, including out-patient monitoring and stay-in-place solutions

Smart cities

LTE-M can facilitate a number of outdoor city needs, such as controlled street lighting, waste management, parking and traffic management, and monitoring of environmental conditions. If we move inside, LTE-M can support building automation, such as controlling access, lighting, and security and alarm systems

If you would like to learn more about what LTE-M can do for your business, please get in touch.

5G is on everyone’s minds these days, and for good reason. Not only will 5G improve how we use and communicate with technology, it will also change how various technologies communicate with one another. And it means everything will happen a much faster pace with far greater reliability.

The Evolution of Wireless Technology

The evolution of wireless communication technology stretches back to the 1990s, when 2G was introduced (previous technology was just a network with voice call capabilities.)

5G means
  • Faster average speed
  • Higher peak rates
  • Lower latency
  • Better security
  • Robust & reliable

During the 2G era there were a number of important advancements, such as GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communication), which enabled data transfer at speeds that would make us laugh today (30-35 kbps), and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) which operated on technology similar to that used by GSM, but with higher speeds (110 kbps).

With the introduction of EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) in 2003 we entered new territory.  EDGE represented a major technological advancement, offering speeds of up to 135 kbps, and it laid the foundation for what was to be known as 3G.

With 3G, which offered speeds of up to 2mbps, we could now send or receive large emails and texts, browse the web, enjoy video streaming, and most importantly, we had better security. 3G was based mostly on EDGE and CDMA2000 (Code-division Multiple Access) technologies, and while CDMA2000 operated on concepts similar to EDGE, it also enabled multiple channels to communicate simultaneously.

4G ushered in the era of mobile Internet, and set several requirements for mobile networks, including mandating the use of Internet Protocol (IP) for data traffic, and enjoyed minimum data rates of 100 mbps. Essentially, it was an extension of 3G technology, with more bandwidth and services.

Now it’s 5G’s turn, and while in some ways its introduction can be seen as ‘the next step’ when it comes to wireless connectivity, in reality it is the next step in digitization.

What is 5G

The fifth-generation mobile network will not just improve how we connect with each other, it will bring great benefits to how we interconnect and control machines, objects, and devices, while delivering higher speeds, lower latency, and better security. It’s been designed to meet the high growth in data and connectivity of today, while also keeping a firm eye on tomorrow’s innovations. It will initially operate in conjunction with existing 4G networks, before evolving to fully standalone networks.

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The sheer numbers of devices that will now be able to connect has the potential to revolutionize everything from modern industrial practices and campus networks to industries such as agriculture and manufacturing.

Robust & reliable

The 5G network will be able to handle a lot more devices than earlier networks, so billions of IoT connected devices will be able to instantaneously connect. To put it another way, if you have a radio cell covering a particular area you would previously have, just say, 300 mobile phones in use in this area when you hit capacity. The cell was occupied, and no more phones could connect.  With 5G you can add just say 30 thousand devices to the cell and it still won’t be at capacity.  This means 5G can better handle the high loads seen in cities or arenas or on company campuses. On the other hand, the new lower frequencies will allow for more robust and reliable connections in rural areas.

In terms of how it works, 5G is consistently a much more reliable technology than earlier generations.  This is important when it comes to outages or when parts of the network need to be updated.  The 5G architecture is much simpler while at the same time it is built on more robust foundations and standards. This means there should be less incidents and a lot less downtime, which is great news for IoT, particularly mission-critical solutions.

Faster speeds & Lower Latency

With 5G we’ll see speeds of 1 Gbps up to 10 Gbps, which means 5G will be, on average, ten times faster than 4G – and within a few years we’ll see speeds of up to 1+ gigabits per second at peak speed. To put that into perspective, today most homes with fiber have speeds of 100 megabits per second, with 1000 megabits equal to one gigabit. Another way of looking at it: you will be able to stream 400 films simultaneously on super high res TV without ever missing a beat.

When it comes to IoT, this will make a massive difference for applications such as CCTV, especially if you have maybe six or seven cameras covering an area in, just say, a factory.

If you have a 5G station, the capacity is so big that you will be able to stream an enormous amount of open video without reaching any kind of capacity ceiling. When you combine that kind of speed with lower power requirements you start to see why 5G will be ideal for IoT.

Lower latency means near real time communications, which can be a big boost when it comes to real-time control of devices, automation, autonomous vehicles, industrial robotics, and security systems. 4G latency is actually quite quick – around 30-40 milli-seconds – but with 5G that number is reduced to 1-2 milliseconds, which again, makes 5G a major game changer when it comes to IoT.

Think of a mine where you need to cut a rock. Previously, you would need to be on-site to do that but with the low latency that comes with 5G you can do this remotely. This can be a game changer when it comes to real-time control of devices, industrial robotics, vehicle to vehicle communication, and security systems.  Apply this same principle to remote surgery and other remote medical care, procedures, and treatment and suddenly healthcare becomes transformed.

5G & Security

There are more and improved security standards in 5G, with more security checks, which means your data will be a lot safer. 5G will enable better and faster tools for authentication and encryption of traffic and connected devices. Faster speeds make it possible to share and install new software and security updates much more quickly than today, enabling intelligent real-time IoT security services.  Faster speeds, faster response times, and more connected devices also make system monitoring more efficient, and actions taken much faster. 5G also gives the ability to prioritize safety-related traffic in the network much more efficiently than today, and there are more secure technologies for traffic in networks to and from other countries.

IoT devices intended for industrial and other M2M applications are, unlike many consumer devices, better designed, better secured, and will, in many cases, connect to specific network slices or through IoT gateways, which will drastically reduce the potential for security breaches. That said, devices must be monitored to ensure they behave as intended.

Big benefits come at a cost

So, while it’s abundantly apparent there are enormous benefits when it comes to 5G and IoT, 5G doesn’t use the infrastructure laid down by 3G and 4G, so it will be far more expensive and complicated to implement. That said, Tele2 is invested in the future, with 5G currently being rolled out in Sweden.

If you would like to learn more about 5G and IoT, please Get in touch.

By 2020, 83% of enterprise workloads will be handled in the cloud. Adopting the cloud can mean reduced operational costs, better scalability, faster app deployment, and increased reliability.  But here’s the rub: with a predicted 30 billion plus IoT devices being globally deployed by 2020, the amount of data that will be stored in the cloud is mind-boggling, as is the ability to derive tangible value from it. Additionally, when it comes to IoT, data constantly being sent from a device to the cloud means an increased risk of it being compromised.

Handling data outside the main cloud – at its ‘edge’ – can reduce data center loads and operational costs while improving performance and increasing security. Welcome to Edge Computing.

What is Edge Computing?

In the simplest terms, edge computing is the processing and analyzing of data at the network edge, closest to the point of action. This means it is an on-device approach to data, so instead of sending endless streams of data to the cloud (where much of it bears no practical value and is never used), the data is handled and stored locally, either on the IoT device itself or at the nearest network node.

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In other words, instead of having a centralized, remote cloud doing all the heavy lifting, the data is handled and stored locally.

This on-device approach reduces latency for critical applications while lowering dependence on the cloud and allowing you to better manage the huge amounts of data generated by your IoT solution.

How Does It Work?

IoT sensors produce enormous amounts of data and if you’re using cloud computing, the data is immediately transferred there to be processed and stored. If action is required, the cloud will analyze the data it has received before sending its response back to the device. This normally takes less than a second to happen, but there is always the possibility of a delay or an interruption, which can be an enormous problem when we’re talking about things like autonomous vehicles, where even waiting a millisecond for a response would be unacceptable.

With edge computing, you don’t need to send data from the sensors anywhere. The device itself or the nearest network node is responsible for processing the data and can respond immediately if action is required. The result is that your IoT device is no longer dependent on an Internet connection and can instead function as a standalone network node.

The Benefits

The main purpose of edge computing is to decentralize data handling, and this on-device approach leads to a number of advantages over traditional cloud computing.

1. Data Security

Data being continuously sent from the device to the cloud is at a big risk of being compromised. With edge computing, data is decentralized and distributed among the devices where it is produced, making it difficult to take down the whole network or compromise all of your data with a single attack.  This also helps in terms of GDPR compliance, because sensitive or private information is no longer being sent to and stored in the cloud, where it could be vulnerable.

2. Speed

Time is of the essence when it comes to many IoT applications and sending data back and forth between the device and the data center comes with an inevitable time lag.  By storing and processing data at or close to the source, you reduce this lag and can analyze and take action on data in near-realtime, without unnecessary delays.

3. Scalability

Storing and processing data at the edge means you don’t need a substantial amount of cloud storage, allowing you to scale your IoT network as needed. You can expand your computing capacity through a combination of IoT devices and edge data centers.

4. Improved Efficiency

IoT devices can gather unprecedented amounts of actionable data with edge computing, because instead of waiting for a device to log in and interact with centralized servers, edge computing devices are always connected and therefore always gathering data for future analysis. The data can be processed locally to deliver a fast response, or it can be delivered centrally, where it can be dissected to identify trends and notable data points. This, in turn, can help your business make better decisions and meet the needs of your customers more efficiently.

If you would like to learn more about how Tele2 IoT can enable your business, please get in touch.

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