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Understanding the Internet of Things and 5G

Sprint’s Senior Vice President of IoT and Product Development Ivo Rook explains the internet of things and what 5G really means.

Ivo Rook

Senior Vice President of IoT and Product Development, Sprint

Why is IoT a term that every company should be familiar with?

IoT implies that everything can be connected, but it increasingly also means that everything actually is connected. So it is the reality we all operate in — more and more every day. All businesses nowadays have to be familiar with technology to run effective processes, know your customers and be able to get your products into your customers’ hands. But in my opinion, the most fun and exciting reason to embrace IoT is you can use it to create entirely new digital revenues.

 What is an emerging IoT trend we should know about?

Initially IoT was used to adhere to regulation, like making energy meters smart. This created efficiency and lowered the cost of doing business in many sectors.

The new trend goes beyond reducing costs and improving efficiency. Now we’re also combining artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning into all parts of the business. This gives us new insights we’ve never had before. It allows entrepreneurs to change the game, create new kinds of businesses, or do business in new ways. 

 What industries do you expect 5G technology to have the biggest impact on? 

All industries will change. Some will change faster than others. Let’s look at a few examples.

In 2019, the first commercial autonomous driving deployments at scale will start in the U.S. That alone will create huge change for all industries that transport people and goods. 5G will enable a transformation of our roadways into interconnected transportation systems. Think safer, faster, more efficient ways of getting people and things from point A to point B.

Healthcare is already changing. Sprint Business enables a healthcare company to monitor 4 billion heartbeats per day, and use AI to predict heart failure for people with a cardiac condition. That’s happening today. Imagine what’s going to be possible as we age, with all these insights, monitoring and beautiful AI algorithms working together to help us live longer and healthier lives!

We can also use 5G and IoT to help our planet. Agriculture can reduce its usage of chemicals by 25 percent by placing sensors in the ground, and digital buildings can reduce their energy use by 60 percent while increasing the quality of the air and climate.

Why would this trend stop? I think it is unstoppable, and that is a good thing. 

How will 5G improve the IoT experience?

5G will allow universal use of connectivity at high speed, in massive numbers and make software run better. Together, 5G and IoT will create instant insights and intelligence, which will power what we call the “immediate economy.”

What is Curiosity and how does it differ from other IoT platforms?

Curiosity is a network built for software, and we had the luxury of building it from scratch knowing 5G was around the corner. 

The network is dedicated to IoT. It’s virtualized and totally distributed. This means that it can be run from everywhere and support applications such as crash detection or robots that need immediate response to situations.

Curiosity was co-created with many companies from the SoftBank group who think and act like digital disrupters. We’ve worked closely with Ericsson, ARM and Packet to make this platform such a unique IoT solution.

We are all driven by the one thing that creates continuous progress: Curiosity! 

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