SmartCity, SmartHome, SmartEnergy, SmartWearable, SmartEnterprise… SmartX. But just how smart are these IoT solutions, really?

Many early IoT deployments simply connect an asset to the internet but have no strategic plan for how to leverage the data to deliver smart services that will enable a smarter future. As such, they paint themselves into a corner because they can't find a path to scale their hardware and software solutions to generate revenue.

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The increasingly-ubiquitous adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), along with hyper-convergence of devices, cloud(s), and consumers have resulted in a complex product landscape. We’re witnessing exponential agile development in cloud-based marketplaces and digital products, and the rise of digital assistants, chat bots, connected vehicles, and smart home automation systems.

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From the time of its conceptualization, Long Term Evolution (LTE) has been positioned as a distributed and flat architecture whose strength lies in its simplicity. However, it wasn’t long before tech titans started acknowledging the benefits, perhaps even the need, for centralization in the LTE stack even if it violated the initial premise. This is where Cloud RAN, also referred to as C-RAN or Centralized RAN, brings value to the table. Wikipedia defines C-RAN as “[A] centralized, cloud-based architecture for radio access networks that supports 2G, 3G, 4G and future wireless communication standards”. C-RAN comprises centralized baseband units (BBU) and distributed remote radio heads (RRH) connected through high-capacity, low-latency links. Put more succinctly, the C-RAN architecture involves splitting the baseband processing between RRH and BBU functions, preferably running the latter on commodity servers in a virtualized environment with the intent of optimizing cost while offering easily-scalable solutions.

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The energy and industrial sectors are betting on intelligent technologies to improve safety, security, raise operational efficiency and boost productivity. IoT-enabled engineering is becoming critical to bring relevant capabilities in sensing, unconventional connectivity, Human Machine Interface (HMI) and edge compute applications.

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Vehicle to everything technology (V2X) is one of the much watched for technologies in the current connected everything scenario and is expected to make driving simpler, easier, richer, safer, greener and more. V2X communications and related solutions will help communication possible between the vehicle and everything else – V2I (Vehicle-to-Infrastructure), V2V (Vehicle-to-vehicle), V2P (Vehicle-to-Pedestrian), V2D (Vehicle-to-device) and V2G (Vehicle-to-grid) et al. V2X is touted to increase road safety, better flow of traffic, save energy and disburse relevant location related information.

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