We live in a truly globalised world, with instant communication between humans and machines, and more information at our fingertips than ever before. This shift to a world that is far more open to competition and collaboration means that Western powers will not be able to rest on their laurels any longer.
This article will look at the fastest growing developing regions right now (not just the BRICS, which are fairly established by now) and how they will shake up the established rules of connected technology, working on a scale large enough to bring the IoT to its full potential.
China & Hong Kong
Now the second biggest economy in the world, China’s intimidating five-year plan states an emphasis on ‘cybereconomy’ – including improved network speed, support for ‘cyber innovation’, and a commitment to ‘a nationwide, real-time, online environmental monitoring system’ to help curb rampant pollution. China has a consistent track-record of achieving its own ambitious targets – after pledging $360 billion for renewable energy at the start of 2017, they have already exceeded clean energy targets – so any plans to be the leaders in connected technology should not be taken lightly.
China’s signing of a declaration of international cooperation ‘to ensure a peaceful, secure, and open digital and Internet space’ is good news for the rest of us, as they now have the most M2M connections in the world, with an IoT market expected to grow to $230 billion by 2020 and no plans to slow down soon. In Hong Kong, for example, Pixel network has deployed a LoRaWAN network to connect existing smart infrastructure, and also serve as an accelerator for future IoT development in the city.
With 202 sites planned for Smart City development by the central government, and 68.7% of the world’s smart energy meters installed in China alone, the nation is primed for a mass adoption of connected technology. With the launch of our new office in Hong Kong, Pod Group will be at the forefront of this new IoT power, helping to connect China’s industrial sector and bring the latest in robust, flexible network connectivity to Smart Home and Smart City projects in the region.
While Smart Cities are also being targeted by Indian government, and the country has seen some major announcements around the topic, India first needs focus on its infrastructure and utilities before expanding to such ambitious projects. With repeated electricity blackouts, water rationing, inadequate waste and sewage treatment still widespread throughout India, the government is looking to implement IoT systems to relieve problem areas such as water, energy, agriculture, public safety and health.
A major blocker to large scale projects like Smart Cities, or India’s growing fascination with autonomous cars and their potential to solve serious traffic problems, is the network infrastructure in the country. Whereas Mobile Country Codes (MCCs) and Mobile Network Codes (MNCs) in most other countries are standardized and regulated, each region in India has a different MCC, and so networks that cross regional borders often need multiple MNCs as well.
Despite the fact that India surpassed the number of smartphone users in the US last year, their infrastructure has some major improvements before the country can support India’s grand plans. Pod Group offers over 90 networks in India, providing a stable base for IoT applications in the region, Most importantly, our best signal multi-network SIM cards offer switching between networks across regional or international borders, meaning that roaming applications can stay connected across the whole country.
Latin America had one of the fastest growing M2M markets in 2014, with 41% CAGR compared to 24% in the US, and a recent agreement between Qualcomm and the São Paulo government to open an IoT processor factory and ‘accelerate [IoT] adoption in Brazil’ suggests that interest in the region has not slowed since then.
The pace of IoT development in Brazil seems to follow a similar pattern to the rest of the region in fact, with widespread interest in IoT technologies but limited experience or infrastructure to support continued growth. However, businesses throughout the region, in Chile, Mexico, and Argentina especially, are pushing IoT forward, and using small-scale projects to foster talent in IoT systems by jumping in with both feet – IoT leaders in Mexico express a desire not to ‘become consumers instead of producers’ and miss out on the opportunity of IoT.
Despite slow adoption rates to date, small-scale projects and governments alike are realising the vast opportunity to connect the technology that is already widespread throughout the region – think of the POS terminals, ATMs, and industrial applications that are still virgin IoT territory in much of Latin America. Pod Group have recently launched two offices in Mexico and Nicaragua to help foster this surge in IoT innovation and production, and we hope to bring our robust multi-IMSI SIM cards and versatile billing platform to the region to create a cohesive and scalable ecosystem across Latin America.
Around the world in 600 networks
IoT is truly a global phenomenon now, with all regions getting in on the action in some way, whether it’s spearheading Smart City projects in SE Asia, boosting production and innovation in Latin America, or native Telcos expanding their influence throughout Africa.
We are proud to be part of this global spread of IoT connectivity, and our new offices in Hong Kong, Mexico and Nicaragua, plus 130 networks in Africa and 90 in India, mean that Pod Group is perfectly positioned to support the new and emerging giants of connected technology.