Don’t count out cellular. It could still win with the internet of things

4 Comments

Cellular connections are expensive and the plans aren’t always conducive to connecting 1,000 devices in a go, but that is changing argues Eran Eshed, Co-Founder and VP of Marketing & Business Development, Altair Semiconductor in this week’s podcast. Eshed makes a case for cellular as a real answer to connectivity for the internet of things, especially for industrial customers. I’m not sure I’m convinced, but he did address range issues, the cost of the modems inside devices and more.

Kevin Tofel and I also discussed what was a busy week in smart home hubs with Samsung buying SmartThings for a reported $200 million, the launch of Best Buy’s home hub (a collaboration between the retailer and a startup selling a service called Peq) and the news that Home Depot is putting its considerable muscle behind the Wink platform. We also discuss the new white Philips LED connected bulbs and their $30 price tag, which means that the price of connected bulbs is coming down. So listen up to see how Kevin views the Samsung buy of SmartThings, the thought of four home platforms and more.

Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Kevin Tofel and Eran Eshed, Co-Founder and VP of Marketing & Business Development, Altair Semiconductor

  • Kevin thinks Samsung is likely to keep SmartThings open so isn’t worried
  • Maybe the smart home can handle a few big closed systems
  • Home Depot’s push for Wink makes sense for it and the consumer
  • Cellular may be expensive, but carriers are making it much cheaper with 4G-only service
  • The industrial internet isn’t going to rely on Wi-Fi

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4 Comments

fredhstein

I’d bet on Electric Imp, who just raised $13.5M. They take advantage of wifi routers already in just about every home and office to give cheap IoT devices ‘an API in the cloud’. Hugo has a sweet MVP which rides on Moore’s law. It’s partner-ready, with big partners already on-board.
The LTE play is cool, but niche. Power consumption, cost…..

Nicholas Paredes

The industrial internet is going to have to rely on internal networks. In the deepest darkest parts of Disney for example, what do you think the cell service is like? Do you think that Disney would connect a motor driving a roller coaster to a cell network? There are plenty of large issues surrounding B2B services that are not typical.

In my home I would probably prefer cell data. Last year I installed a DSL line at my girlfriend’s request. This was the first time in a decade where I had a tethered connection. Restarting the router causes plenty of problems with my Wink set up. I’m playing with this stuff to design better products. Home automation isn’t going to be a huge market until we work through all of these issues.

Industrial object automation isn’t going to be a huge market until the data integrity is secure and stable.

Madlyb

Hahahahahahahaha…

…let me get this straight. This guy is proposing we try and drive IoT off of networks that are so limited, their own carriers program our phones to seek out WiFi whenever possible.

Okay, now that we have had a good laugh. Yes…cellular does play a role, just like any other network tech, but I would use it as the network of last resort when no other option is available or when ubiquity is required…basically in pretty much the scenarios it is already deployed, mobile fleets, remote locations, backup connections, etc.

For cellular to become a prime provider, cost has got to come down…way down, and no more of this silly contract per device stupidity. Give me one account and bill me by the GB and I can register as many devices as needed. Finally, you have to have guaranteed QoS and true Operational SLAs for availability, throughput, and even latency before I would even consider it over a hardline and some WiFi.

Mor Getz

Eran Eshed, Co-Founder and VP of Marketing & Business Development, Altair Semiconductor in this week’s podcast. Eshed makes a case for cellular as a real answer to connectivity for the internet of things, especially for industrial customers.

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