By 2020, it is estimated that there will be 50 million devices connected to the Internet. Mark Montgomery explores some of the ways we can expect this increase to impact the way we communicate with certain devices, and what this will mean for those working in the telecommunications industry.
Cisco estimates that by 2020 there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet. However ‘devices’ is probably the wrong word to describe what’s going to be connected – it is literally going to be everything. For instance – a dutch start up called Spark has attached wireless sensors….to cows. This is known as the internet of things.
When one is sick or pregnant the device sends a message to the farmer. Each cow transmits 200mb a year. It is not unreasonable to expect nearly everything to be connected to the Internet in the future.
Communication and connectivity
And it’s not just that everything is going to be connected to the Internet – the devices are going to be able to communicate with each other too.
For example – your morning alarm for going to work. You set your alarm for 8:00AM, and this signals your car to start at 8:05AM to melt the snow that accumulated over night as the alarm and car communicated with the Internet to check the weather reports. The alarm communicates to your coffee machine to start making a coffee at 8:05AM so its ready when you go downstairs. Or, if your train is running 20 minutes late, the alarm pushes itself back to 8:10AM to give you 10 minutes extra in bed.
Although this kind of technology is some years away from being in every household, it is important to understand the speed at which this is happening. For instance, 20 typical households in 2011 generated more Internet traffic than the Internet did in it’s entirety in 1998!
Smartphones are the start – for example, when we take our phone in the car it beams information on our location and speed to Google. This allows Google to gather traffic data without users even knowing.
What does this mean for the telecommunications industry?
In conclusion, the next few years are going to be interesting for those working in and around the telecommunications industry.
With even greater volumes of Internet traffic, it makes sense that there will be an ever increasing need for engineers to fix problems when they arise and architects to build networks that fit together. It is only a question of how fast this connectivity will get here, rather than if it will or not.