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Smart Networks: coming soon to a home near you

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Smart networks are the result of three trends coming together: the Internet of Things, Big Data and Cloud Computing.


In 2017 a household with two teenagers will have 25 Internet connected devices. In 2022 this will rise to 50, compared with only 10 today.


Human challenges: the way people interact with networks and systems my limit their use.

Lifecycle challenges: when a technology is introduced in a vehicle today, the first cars with that technology may reach the end of their lifecycle in 2028, the last ones in 2038. Furthermore, if the lifecycles of two distinct sectors meet, the effect can be even more pronounced. Thus, today’s choices for smart systems will be long-term decisions.

Business challenges: users of M2M systems that make use of mobile technology are locked-in with their mobile networks. They cannot change networks and when the devices go across borders they are locked in with their operators.

It is also unclear who has the lead in the smart networks sector. For smart metering, energy companies, meter manufacturers, ICT companies and telecom companies have all said they will lead.

Regulatory challenges: governments will be confronted with difficult policy issues, notably concerning privacy and security.  Governments also face questions regarding access to data and who owns this data.

Rudolf Van der Berg
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