Navigating IoT Technologies, Standards and Frameworks for Managed IoT Service (2018)

By Gary Gutknecht, Technicolor

Network Service Providers (NSPs) have a major opportunity and advantage in offering Managed IoT Services. They have the organizational and business structure to successfully build all the necessary IoT layers of Connectivity & Networking, Core IoT Platform and Services. However, IoT technologies and ecosystems are complex and fragmented making it challenging for Service Providers to formulate a winning strategy. A significant number of complex heterogeneous IoT options for sensor connectivity, networking and application layers make it challenging to understand the best solution for targeted use cases. Functional overlap is pervasive when considering networking and IoT sensor application layer options such as Thread, Open Connectivity Forum and Dotdot, which makes it difficult to pick the best approach and understand how they will work together. IoT connectivity protocols and standards such as Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Z-wave, BLE, NB-IoT, LoRa and SigFox can be confusing without an understanding of their technical features, optimizations and use cases. In addition to these challenges, IoT solutions connect to their closed service layers using different messaging protocols (CoAP, MQTT, HTTP, AQMP), data models and proprietary APIs, which make service integration difficult. This paper will provide an overview of e2e IoT network layers and make comparison of different IoT technologies in each layer with an emphasis on use case alignment. In addition to topics above, the paper will also include Service Provider e2e considerations such as security, privacy, reliability and scale. A review of harmonization efforts among standards at each layer, and a brief introduction to IoT data-model normalization efforts in the industry (e.g. Semantic Web of Things) will be covered. The reader will gain a clear understanding of the current e2e IoT technology landscape in a structured taxonomy and have a current and practical view of how to apply this understanding to their IoT decisions.

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