The first meters using the Internet of Things (IoT) technology are already installed

Expenses in the IoT field will grow by 14,6% - up to 772,5 billion dollars - all over the world in 2018, IDC analysts calculated. Of these, only 62 billion dollars (8%) will comprise users' costs in the mass market. The main focus area will be the so-called "industrial" IoT.

Industry will spend the most capital ($ 189 billion), where the focus will be on decisions supporting industrial operations and managing production assets. Transport companies will spend $ 85 billion on IoT, two thirds of which will go to cargo monitoring solutions. Another expenditure item is monitoring of vehicle fleets.

Finally, the third largest is the utility sector, which will spend $ 73 billion on IoT. Basically, these costs will go to smart networks, such as electrical, water and gas. Another $ 92 billion will be spent on inter-industry solutions, such as smart buildings or connected cars.

Rauan Kabdrahimov, director of corporate sales at Beeline, speaks to regarding the prospects of building the IoT market infrastructure in Kazakhstan.

- How can I improve production efficiency or reduce costs with IoT?

- The advantage afforded by the Internet of Things for businesses lies in the global gathering of information about consumers and goods. For example, we are now negotiating with a company that produces refrigerators for retail stores. In the future, refrigerators with built-in IoT network will enable buyer companies to collect information on the number of openings, monitor the temperature of freezing, and provide information about the presence or absence of certain goods inside the refrigerator. The ability to monitor the movement of goods will positively affect the number of sales. As for the NB-IoT standard, these networks are characterized by high penetrating power and low power consumption.

- Last year, Beeline planned to test NB-IoT for the Internet of things from the "smart city" series (data transfer to the server from gas, electricity, hot and cold water meters). In which city were the tests conducted and what did they show?

- In December last year, we tested our system in the city of Kostanay; as of now, the necessary network has already been launched in this city, and the first IoT-enabled meters have already been installed.

- Have housing and utility service companies become interested in your devices?

- We signed a contract for the pilot launch of "smart meters" with the company "KazTransGas Aimak". Soon the devices will be installed in private homes in Kostanay. In the first stage, it is planned to connect 100 facilities. With this system implemented, the inspectors will not have to go to the houses. It will be easier to track the accruals and expenses, because they are recorded by an electronic system that eliminates the human factor. And, of course, the key concern is security. In the event of an emergency, the sensor will record the changes and promptly send the data to the managingt company. After successful launch in Kostanay, we will continue to project our technologies upon other regions.

- Will the introduction of such devices affect tariff rates?

- The Internet of Things involves the installation of a base station, a radio module for connecting the device to the network, controllers for collecting and transmitting information from the meter. The costs, of course, are large. But at the same time, it is possible to significantly reduce losses of water, gas, electricity, and thus increase profits. Due to this savings, it is possible to recoup the meters. The impact on tariff rates will depend on what kind of meter installation scheme will be used, but for now this is the question under discussion. - At the moment we are talking about the purchase of Kcell shares by Kazakhtelecom. Do you think that a merged company can become a powerful competitor in this market? "Undoubtedly, they will compete with us." And we very much want Kcell, Kazakhtelecom and Tele2 to develop in this direction. After all, working together will help to "swing" the market faster, and there will be enough space for everyone in this market.

- Introduction of the Internet of Things in the field of machine-to-machine interaction is not possible without 5G network. Does your company intend to launch a commercial operation of a 5G network?

- We will, undoubtedly, have fifth-generation networks. It's just a matter of time. Now, with a temporarily lag behind Tele2 in terms of 4G networks, we provided coverage in all cities in Kazakhstan within two years. Tele2 launched 4G networks before us, because they were the first to receive a license. Now we have one of the highest penetrations of 4G in terms of subscriber devices. This will all contribute to the transition to a new level of communication.

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