With predictions for the number of IoT devices increasing exponentially every day, the question becomes – how will all these devices communicate with each other in real time? The answer is to plan for a massive redesign of the wireless infrastructure for the IoT. Today’s current networks are built for a small set of users, since the users are largely us humans. Humans use wireless communications mainly to send and receive data, make a phone call, or view a video. To support this usage in uninterrupted fashion, network connections have been centrally organized. In order to accommodate IoT machine and device communications, networks will have to manage decentralized intermittent and bursty transmission of many small data packets. This proliferation of devices on the network will lead to more interference, which in turn will cause latency or even loss of connectivity. This would prove to be counterproductive, as well as costly to IoT-based systems, since devices that don’t communicate efficiently lose precious battery life. Communications solutions and service providers need to get out in front. Academia has pledged to help.
Telecommunications is gearing up for explosive growth of the internet of things (IoT), the massive collection of devices — smart watches, smart thermostats, traffic and energy monitors, etc. — that will be given network connectivity so that they can communicate and exchange data.