DHL and Cisco have predicted that by 2020, there will be more than 50 billion devices connected to the internet.
This forecast has powerful ramifications for most businesses – but what particularly interests me is the opportunity it holds for telecommunications companies.
Telco companies already collect huge amounts of data through smart devices, satellites, GPS and IoT sensors in vehicles. What this Big Data represents is an untapped goldmine that could generate millions of dollars in new revenue streams.
When data collected by telcos is mapped and analysed in near real-time, it generates a compelling picture of how and why consumers move through certain areas at certain times – which has powerful ramifications in areas such as smart city design.
Governments and commercial groups can understand how entire city traffic networks are affected by adjustments in a specific intersection and make systematic changes to improve traffic flow.
Abnormal traffic patterns will indicate when and where accidents are blocking the road. Integrated emergency responder systems, such as police and ambulance services, would automatically dispatch vehicles, all without the need for human intervention.
Many government and private organisations in global innovation hotspots like Singapore are already leveraging telcos’ data to support the development of smarter traffic solutions. But traffic management is only the beginning – the insights generated from this data offers vast commercial value in everything from mobile advertising to home security.
For many telcos, the challenge is how to move forward with translating their data into commercially viable insights.
Big Data is often unusable in its raw form – which is why location-based analytics is critical to this approach.
Location-based analytics technology brings order to data, by literally mapping undetected trends to present valuable insights in real-time.
Additionally, the technology can assist in ensuring privacy laws are adhered to by aggregating and ‘anonymising’ the data – cleaning it of any personal identifiers.
The data and technology required to monetise these commercial insights exists today – the sky is really the limit for how Australian telecommunications providers, transport departments and other businesses intend to exploit the possibilities.
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