The technological trend of the Internet of Things, or IoT refers to billions of physical devices connected to worldwide Internet networks which are collecting and sharing data and are enabled to communicate real-time data without human involvement. Statista predicted that by 2025 an immense network of approximately 75.44 billion smart objects will synchronise data and autonomously perform actions.
The term IoT is mainly used for devices that would not normally be expected to have an Internet connection but could now communicate with a network independently of human action. Adding sensors to different physical devices and objects will create a level of digital intelligence that will change the fabric of human existence by merging the digital and physical realms to become smarter and more responsive.
IoT is currently known for its role in creating smart homes and cars equipped with sensors to allow systems to self-adjust like, for example, atmospheric controls. Early adopters like manufacturers are starting to use beacons and sensors to gather data from equipment and supply chains. These sensors transmit data on performance to determine component failures thus making systems and supply chains more efficient.
Choosing a network and provider to reap the benefits of IoT devices is vital and currently fibre optics can drive the mammoth data and networking requirements of the Internet of Things. Conversely, IoT offers new opportunities for the fibre optic market.
The popular terms ‘big data’, denotes the transformation driving organisations today. Companies have been gathering digital raw data at great expense but with suboptimal purposes. However, smart organisations are increasingly putting ever-larger quantities of homogeneous data to strategic use and creating value from wide varieties of data in real time.
Through the processing and fusion of all stored and streaming data sources, companies are creating a more complete view of the conditions affecting them. Though accurate platforms which mirror reality more adequately for accountable decisions, companies are benefiting from real-insights. The value of data is reflected in delivering to the bottom line by reducing market risks, honing predictive analysis and speeding-up improvements in processes.
For these real-insights to be relevant and implemented, data needs to be gathered, transmitted, and processed quickly. A high-speed, low-latency fibre optic network enables this IoT data to travel from the connected device to companies’ data centres at the speed of light.
Spanning the distance between connected devices
IoT demands seamless data transmission across larger distances and is reliant on machine-to-machine (m2m) communication. Connected devices may be in remote sites at different points along a supply chain, in a warehouse, or on an assembly line in a factory. These remote devices need to transmit information to main data centres for processing and a reliable fibre optic network will not only transmit data speedily, but also do so securely and reliably.
High volumes of data
The IoT data-driven ecosphere will always be on – tracking, monitoring, and learning, always producing information, and contributing to big data traffic. It is predicted that by 2025 global levels will rise to 163 zettabytes or 1 trillion GBs and people will interact with IoT devices 4,800 times per day on average. Fibre optic cables will handle the traffic from IoT devices more efficiently than copper cables because the glass fibres are thin, and more fibres can fit into a cable. Fibre can thus support multiple wavelengths to transmit exponentially more data.
The IoT makes computing physical and consequently, there can be major real-world consequences. Thus, IoT extends the attack surface of companies’ systems since every device is a vulnerable and hackable endpoint.
Fibre optic connections are difficult to hack and attempts to tap a connection often break the glass fibre, causing a noticeable interruption and alerting companies of a breach.
IoT will take asset management to higher levels by making systems smart and automated. Not only will information be received but the systems will also self-correct and even act predictively. IoT sensors can be used to track the location of faulty components and companies can schedule maintenance and prevent future equipment breakdowns. Fibre cables will facilitate the speed and reliability needed to allow businesses to experience the benefits of fully connected systems.
Fibre and better IoT
Fibre optics will provide a fast, reliable, and secure connection between IoT devices. A rise in connected devices highlights the importance of broadband, and the rising need for fibre optic cables. Companies can future proof their current systems and install a fibre network that will provide the foundation to take advantage of the full benefits of the IoT. With the scalability, flexibility and versatility of fibre, the increasing demand for data transmission capacity and bandwidth will allow IoT to thrive.
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