The Greater China region is poised to lead the global Industrial IoT (IIoT) market. This is based on an in-depth report based on interviews with mobile operators including; Asia Pacific Telecom Group, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Far EasTone and Taiwan Mobile. The operators outline how the combination of fast internet speeds, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and the IoT is transforming the region’s industrial sector.
GSMA Intelligence estimates that there will be 13.8 billion IIoT connections globally by 2025. Greater China accounts for approximately 4.1 billion of these connections or a third of the global market.
“These new technologies will fundamentally alter the way we live and work, intelligently connecting virtually every device, making our cities smarter and our lives easier and more productive,” commented Alex Sinclair, chief technology officer, GSMA. “China is betting big on the IIoT to increase productivity and drive efficiencies by streamlining and automating manufacturing processes via internet connectivity. Backed by positive government support, China is set to become the world’s leader.”
The IIoT will increase productivity by combining AI, cloud computing and advanced analytics to automate manufacturing processes via internet connectivity. It will enable factories to monitor and interpret data from production lines and complex machinery in real time to anticipate faults, manage infrastructure and mitigate risk. The captured data will drive efficiencies, optimise productivity and decrease costs in many important economic sectors beyond manufacturing, such as energy and telecoms. China is also making advances in the area of AI which, with machine learning, will help factories and businesses manage complex processes and drive innovation.
China’s Government backing the IIoT
China’s government is a major driving force behind the country’s adoption of the Industrial IoT. In 2015, the government outlined its ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy, which aims to boost manufacturing innovation, including the IoT, smart appliances and high-end consumer electronics, and transform China from “a manufacturing big house” to “a manufacturing super house” in the next 10 years.
The government also unveiled its ‘Internet Plus Action Plan’ in 2015 to integrate the internet with traditional industries and create a new engine for economic growth, bringing together the mobile internet, cloud computing, big data and the IoT with modern manufacturing.
The role of China’s Operators
China’s mobile operators will play a fundamental role in these developments by providing secure, reliable and intelligent connectivity to businesses and enterprises across the country.
China’s operators will be integral to the development of the IIoT and an invaluable and strategic partner for cities, governments and other organisations.
The GSMA’s Internet of Things Programme is working closely with all operators, as well as other vendors in the ecosystem, to support and help accelerate the delivery of compelling and secure IoT solutions including; Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks, such as LTE-M and NB-IoT, which are helping to usher in innovative new services across the country. LTE-M and NB-IoT will play a key role in the development of 5G networks and in particular, ‘massive IoT’, which will enable smart cities, industrial automation and other applications involving large numbers of connected devices.