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Internet of Things: mobile industry has not been as excited since iPhone debut

Paul Lipscombe
August 28, 2018

Mobile phones and 5G will be the ‘data hub’ of IoT say industry experts 

The Internet of Things (IoT) has got the UK mobile industry “the most excited” it has been since the first iPhone was introduced, according to those within the channel.

With Gartner predicting there will be 20 billion connected “things” by 2020, the opportunities are expected to be massive for UK resellers.

Currently, there are around 272.6 million connected devices in the UK with this figure anticipated to reach 625 million by 2023, according to Gartner statistics.

Iris IoT Solutions MD Stephen Westley has said the mobile industry hasn’t been as “excited” for a decade.

“We haven’t seen the mobile industry so excited about a change in the market since the launch of the iPhone just over ten years ago. There is a real excitement over IoT and it is only going to get bigger, the growth is going to be phenomenal.


“From a mobile perspective it is all very exciting. The mobile phone network has plateaued, we’re all waiting for 5G and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT).”

Gartner research director Emil Berthelsen has labelled the mobile phone as the data hub for IoT and it will be substantial in how IoT evolves.

“The mobile phone has essentially become an interface for the Internet of Things and there are huge opportunities to enhance the usage of the mobile phones as a dashboard and controller of IoT devices and solutions.”


Doro VP of Smart care and services Jorgen Alsing told Mobile News he believes it will take some time before the potential of IoT is maximised but it will be essential for Doro in the future.

“It hasn’t taken off just yet. We have not launched our first product but will launch it in early 2019. The interest we can see from mobile operators is absolutely huge and this is an area we want to be in.

“We expect this to be a substantial part of our future revenue. We don’t have any revenue from IoT today.”

CCS Insights SVP Martin Garner also agrees that the UK is currently in the early stages.

Garner said: “We are in the very early days of the market, and the impact in all countries is so far limited. The UK has many companies pursuing this opportunity and some very good projects in use, but there is a long way to go.

“As with previous fundamental changes, such as the rollout of the electricity national grid, we can foresee a lot of what will come but it will take many years before we know the full impact of IoT.”

PMGC digital marketing manager Alan Man also agrees: “It’s still in its early infancy stage but there’s a lot of things happening behind the scenes.”

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