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Interview with Nokia’s Dr Rakesh Kushwaha, Head of IoT Business Unit, Nokia

December 13, 2017

Interview with Nokia’s Dr Rakesh Kushw...

The concept of internet of things (IoT) is  finding its way into all industry verticals, helping enterprises manage their operations better and offer advanced products, solutions and services to their customers. In India too, the technology is being adopted at an impressive pace, with the biggest push to IoT adoption coming from government initiatives such as Digital India and the Smart Cities Mission. Equipment vendor, Nokia is also upbeat about the IoT opportunity and is helping service providers globally in getting their networks business-ready for IoT adoption. In an interview with tele.net, Dr Rakesh Kushwaha, head of IoT business unit, Nokia, shared his views on the IoT ecosystem in India, the policy interventions required for IoT proliferation and the key challenges in its adoption...

What are your views on the IoT ecosystem in India? How prepared is the Indian market for the adoption of IoT?

The Indian market is ripe for IoT. We do not typically need very high bandwidth for IoT applications and they can work well on existing networks such as 2G/3G, Wi-Fi and fixed networks. In fact, IoT is not just about mobility, it is about several connectivity networks. India has those connectivity networks in place. There are devices that are equipped to be easily connected. All that needs to be done is collect, aggregate and analyse the data.

Which enterprise verticals are likely to see wider adoption of IoT?

For the Indian market, there is a huge potential for IoT adoption in smart cities. Here, it is not just the government that needs to step in but also a host of other enterprises such as parking garages, stadiums and malls. The automotive industry also holds great potential for IoT adoption.

IoT promises several benefits. It has far-reaching implications on social life as well as industrial applications. It promises quality of life as well as efficiency of processes within factories, cities, etc.

What are the key challenges for IoT adoption in India and how can these be resolved?

The biggest challenge is to develop a mature local ecosystem that is in sync with use cases that India needs. Second, getting the business model right is challenging. Monetisation of business models is important, whether companies opt for the pay-as-you-go model or rely on business-to-business kind of funding from other enterprises.

What are the policy interventions required for the proliferation of IoT in India?

While a lot of work is happening on the policy front, we still lack policies, especially for smart cities, which can provide support for controlling air pollution, using green energy and various other controls. Today, there are several regulations prevalent globally in this space. For instance, San Francisco has regulations on how green a building should be, and what should be the maximum level of pollution. Once such regulations are in place, these will open up demand for solutions that are based on IoT.

What are the key technology trends that will shape the Indian telecom sector in the next two to three years?

In terms of connectivity, in the next two to three years, India is expected to go through the same revolution that the US and Europe have undergone. The key focus area will be enhancing connectivity – we will see a surge in connecting modules, connecting light poles and connecting devices.

Besides connectivity, data will take centre stage and the focus will be on what kind and level of control operators hold over this data. The key question is, will they become mere pipes or will they transmit the data back to the enterprises or monetise the data in some other way?


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