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Internet of Things (IoT) to empower millions in rural areas

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By Nishant Arora

New Delhi, March 24: Some call it the fourth industrial revolution or “industry 4.0”; for others, the time when machines can “talk” at “smart” factories and “connected” homes to make your life better is here. But for India, Internet of Things (IoT) can bring a real revolution: empowering millions in rural areas and connecting “humans” to the mainstream.

A well-connected nation is the first step towards a well-served nation and, hence, connecting rural India to the IoT will provide the much-needed bridge between urban and rural India.

“It is a surefire way of channelling the benefits of a digital economy to the largest part of the country. IoT will enable delivery of education, health, governance and financial services to otherwise underserved areas,” Oracle India managing director Shailender Kumar stressed.

For example, most patients in rural areas do not have access to specialists. Thus, several large hospitals in the metros are beginning to offer remote consulting services in rural villages using media-rich network capabilities.

“The doctors can see and interact with patients in remote telemedicine centres, with the case history and medical data automatically transmitted to the doctor for analysis. Similarly, the IoT technology can be leveraged to offer high-quality remote education in high schools across the country,” Shailendra Kumar told reporters.

The IoT connectivity also offers a host of development opportunities to untapped areas, including manufacturing and e-commerce to market local and traditional products.

“A host of ‘localisation’ technologies can help different regions to communicate; so language is not a barrier. Relevant information and updates can be provided in local languages and scripts,” the Oracle executive added.

According to K.S. Viswanathan, vice president (industrial initiative) at apex IT body Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies), as IoT emerges as the next big thing to become a $300 billion global industry by 2020, India is all set to capture at least 20 percent market share in the next five years.

“The IoT is dramatically alerting manufacturing, energy, transportation, medical and other industrial sectors worldwide,” said Viswanathan while launching the “Nasscom IoT Centre of Excellence” in Coimbatore last week.

Andhra Pradesh has taken a lead when it comes to leveraging the IoT (Internet of Things) potential in the country. The state government has approved the first-of-its-kind IoT policy with an aim to turn the state into an IoT hub by 2020 and tap 10 percent market share in the country.

“We will develop state-of-the-art Internet of Things infrastructure that matches global standards to grab an Indian market share of $1.5 billion by 2020,” said state IT minister Palle Raghunatha Reddy as the Centre is currently drafting an ambitious policy to create an Indian IoT industry worth $15 billion by 2020.

On the global consumer front, Gartner has forecast that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020.

As you traverse through these mind-boggling IoT numbers, where does India stand?

“We see that India will have a significant growth in IoT connections in the next four-five years,” said Mats Lundquist, chief executive officer at Telenor Connexion, Sweden-based leading enabler of connected business solutions.

Industry numbers indicate that manufacturing will be one of the main IoT drivers in the Asia Pacific (APAC) market and will be the biggest sector in IoT spending.

According to a report from global market research firm Frost & Sullivan, manufacturing contributed 30 percent of the IoT spending in 2014 and it is expected to rise up to 32 percent of total spending in the APAC region by 2020 which equates nearly $79 billion.

“Being an emerging market, India has a big potential owing to several initiatives like “Digital India” and “Smart Cities”. The next big market (for connected devices) in the world is south Asia and India holds a good position,” Apalak Ghosh, principal consultant at market research and consulting firm CyberMedia Research (CMR), told reporters.

“Eventually, south Asia will contribute to about 30-40 percent of the total connected things,” Ghosh added.

So where will the real revenue come from – the consumer or the enterprise sector?

“The Digital India initiative has created a strategic roadmap to build and strengthen domain competency and place India on the global IoT map. We believe that the enterprise sector will bolster IoT revenues,” elaborated Deep Agarwal, regional sales director (India) of US-based Zebra Technologies that builds tracking technology and solutions.

“To begin with, the revenue will first come from the enterprise sector. As the technology booms, the revenue will start coming from the consumer sector,” Ghosh added.

Since IoT is a concept of devices talking to one another, there is a lot of data transfer happening which is vulnerable to cyber threats as well.

“The cloud can work as a catalyst to make IoT work and for that, there has to be a right kind of framework that can assist it. The GRC (governance, risk management and compliance) guidelines  can play an important part to make IoT work in a proper manner,” Ghosh said.

India is currently a small IoT market but with great potential. “We will definitely see a great development in the country on the IoT front in the coming years,” Lundquist pointed out.

For Oracle’s Shailendra Kumar, rural India is set to transform itself by taking the technology leap and adopting real-life solutions like IoT. (IANS)

 

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Can 5G Help in Fighting Coronavirus? Find it Out Here

Certain 5G features can help combat coronavirus

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5G corona
The novel coronavirus outbreak in China has highlighted the role that 5G can play in epidemic control. Pixabay

The novel coronavirus outbreak in China has highlighted the role that 5G can play in epidemic control as 5G+ thermal imaging supports contagion monitoring and it can accurately spot a moving object’s temperatures in real-time without contact and issue abnormal temperature alerts, a new study said on Thursday.

According to a joint Huawei and Deloitte study, COVID-19 or coronavirus has put tremendous pressure on public healthcare systems and epidemic response mechanisms across the world.

In China, due to its vast landscape, large, highly mobile population and their complicated demand for resources, the effectiveness of communication and data exchange have been essential in screening for infected individuals, thus, providing on-ground support to front line staff and controlling the outbreak.

Telecommunications operators collaborated with Huawei to rapidly set up a specific 5G network dedicated to COVID-19 treatment hospitals.

“As a result of 5G features such as high speed connection, high reliability and low latency, the healthcare system has benefited from improved response times, patient monitoring, data collection and analytics, remote collaboration and resource allocation. It also sets an example for digitalized, data driven and Cloud-based innovative major public emergency response platforms,” the company said in a statement.

5G corona
Telecommunications operators collaborated with Huawei to rapidly set up a specific 5G network dedicated to COVID-19 treatment hospitals. Pixabay

“The success of 5G applications in the public health domain could also inspire businesses in other sectors to leverage 5G’s popularity and explore new applications of the technology.”

According to the study, 5G enables continuous remote monitoring and diagnosis during patient transfer.

It is the ideal technology to meet teleconferencing requirements to enable medical experts to treat patients without constraints on their physical location, and substantially improve the accuracy and efficiency of consultations.

Also Read- All You Need to Know About Anxiety During Coronavirus Crisis

Natural disaster response can be equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) networks, thus, enabling deep analysis of supply chains and providing real time information on front-line supply consumption, resource inventory levels, production capability, supply capability and logistics support decisions to balance supply and demand, the study noted. (IANS)