IoT has potential to reach 2 bn connections: Study

Chennai: With more than 500 million internet users in the country, Internet of Things has the potential to reach an estimated two billion connections by 2022, unlocking revenues of $11.1 billion, a report has said.

“Fast forward to India 2022, five new mobile connections (per second) are estimated to join the power of internet. Nearly 50 per cent of the households are likely to be connected through fixed broadband,” said a joint study by Assocham-EY titled ‘Propelling India to a trillion dollar digital economy’.

Connectivity will move beyond people to connect billions of devices, vehicles, household appliances and machines, the study said but added that despite India holding huge potential, the market currently lags behind the US, China and South Korea in connectivity via optical fibre.

New technology

Fiberisation of towers is critical in India, it said, adding that only 25 per cent of telecom towers in India carry optical fibre, whereas, the corresponding share in the US, China and Korea is about 65-80 per cent.

Nearly 60 per cent of the towers will need to be fiberised by 2022, as outlined in the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) 2018, notes the study.

As demand for 4G and subsequently 5G grows, networks will become ‘denser and deeper’ making fiberisation an imperative, it said.

“The emergence of new technologies is set to multiply the consumption of data, necessitating the need for installing more towers. Additionally, one lakh telecom towers will be required to meet the growing demand for data across the country,” it said.

The study also underscored the need to upgrade backhaul networks and fiberise minimum of 60 per cent of mobile towers to support 5G ecosystem.

It said fibre-to-the-home or FTTH is expected to account for a majority of the fixed broadband connections by 2022, helping to realise the government’s target of covering 50 per cent of households.

Key recommendations

The report recommended speedier approvals and rationalising costs for Right-of-Way (RoW) to promote ease of installing telecom infrastructure; availability of adequate backhaul spectrum (the E and V bands); and incentives for rollout and sharing of telecom infrastructure, apart from underlining the need to create a common duct policy for deploying telecom infrastructure.

Expert speak
“The study, while revealing potential of IoT to reach two billion connections with revenues of $11.1 billion by 2022, also suggested rationalisation of license fees, taxes and levies to promote investments and revive the financial health to harness emerging technologies,” said, chairman of Assocham National Council on Telecommunications and Convergence, P Balaji.

NT Bureau