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This report is a primer for the telecoms industry that defines and dimensions the Internet of Things to help companies understand their role and position themselves relative to traditional peers, new entrants, and prospective partners.


  • The Internet of Things has a point-to-point "center" with a LAN-attached "cloud" and can be divided into consumer and enterprise segments. The line between enterprise and consumer business models is being continuously blurred.
  • The IoT has infinite possible application markets. We are simply waiting for them to be created, to be repeated, and to grow large enough and profitable enough to become distinguishable as new markets (aka verticals).
  • Ovum projects there will be around a billion cellular M2M connections worldwide by 2020. It is very reasonable to expect an IoT ecosystem in the low tens of billions of devices by the same date.

Features and Benefits

  • Learn about the logical structure of the Internet of Things from a connectivity and network-orientated perspective.
  • Understand the relationship and the differences between machine-to-machine and the Internet of Things
  • Discover the type and hierarchy of roles existent within the IoT, as well as who serves whom and who benefits from partnering with whom.
  • Understand how the billions of connections are logically broken down, by point-to-point and attached device types, as well as by consumer versus enterprise (Industrial Internet) markets.
  • Visualize the make-up of the IoT, from a role and connected device perspective, pinpointing the job that your company can do.

Key questions answered

  • What is a practical, understandable, and actionable definition of the Internet of Things for telecommunications industry participants?
  • How can we conceptualize the extent and visualize the complexity of the Internet of Things in terms of connected "things"?
  • How do the consumer and enterprise (Industrial Internet) portions of the Internet of Things differ?
  • What roles exist to be occupied by telecommunications companies in the Internet of Things, and what are the essential value chain interactions?
  • How can we scale to tens of billions of connections, and what connections will be relevant to which industry participants?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations for telecoms participants in IoT

Market status

  • Defining and dimensioning the IoT
  • The IoT stack
  • Vertical markets

Market dynamics

  • Value chain
  • Dissecting the IoT stack

Market outlook

  • Sizing the IoT (“getting to 50 billion”)


  • Further reading
  • Author

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