Mobile broadband networks have the potential to provide the robust infrastructure needed for high-speed information processing, distributed computing, cloud computing and data centres, where this information, as well as many other applications, can be processed, analysed and managed – all in real time. These developments are known as the ‘Internet or Things’. Of course, security will be crucial and far more attention needs to be given to ensure that these new large-scale developments are properly protected. This is of national importance.
While both fixed and mobile broadband can be used as the infrastructure of the Internet of Things for most emerging economies, the only short to medium option is mobile broadband. For that reason this reports concentrate on mobile broadband infrastructure.
A full blown mobile Internet of Things will emerge once 4G networks are available with full IP interconnectivity. Amazing developments have taken place in the emerging markets where within a decade the mobile phone has seen penetration increases from around <5% to 60% and more. In this first phase the mobile networks allowed people to connect to each other and to the outside world. The next developments, which will even bigger, will be the connection of devices, known as M2M communication – a core element of the Internet of Things.