IoT Is An Evolving Field, One With New Technologies, Standards And IPs Being Introduced Every Other Day: Farhana Haque, VP & Business Head, IoT, Vodafone, India
IoT can tremendously help India, especially the rural areas, to take advantage of the opportunities in the 21st century
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In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, Farhana Haque, Vice President & Business Head - IoT, Vodafone, India discusses how IoT can tremendously help India and how Vodafone plans to implement the IoT network in India.
How do you see IoT transforming the society and especially how do you think IoT can transform rural society?
IoT can tremendously help India, especially the rural areas, to take advantage of the opportunities in the 21st century. Connected technology can be used in agriculture to enable farmers to harvest, collect, distribute and sell their farm produce at the right time, at the right place and at the right price. They can also get an understanding of the appropriate farming techniques and support for improved productivity. Solutions like asset tracking can unleash the potential of food and empower the agricultural community to reap the benefits of these. Vodafone has deployed IoT solutions for Escorts tractors to turn them into intelligent, connected vehicles for boosting farmers’ efficiency.
Rural society will benefit tremendously from the government’s Digital India push, which will deploy IoT solutions for multiple, large-scale projects to provide improved connectivity, better roads, online financial services, agricultural information, education support, timely healthcare facilities and much more.
What are Vodafone’s plans to implement the IoT network? By when can we see IoT based services being available to the end customers?
For Vodafone, Internet of Things is one of the fastest growing segments within our enterprise business in India. The evolution of our IoT solutions in India has been an exciting journey for us and we already deliver Enterprise IoT services across various sectors. Consumer IoT space is fast catching up, not just due to the fascination for such devices, but also greater awareness about the convenience and simplicity that they offer. We will explore this market in the coming quarters.
At the global level, recently Vodafone launched narrow band IoT network. Is it something that could be introduced in the Indian market soon?
Narrowband IoT is being actively evaluated for launch in India. In fact, we should see some announcements in this regard coming soon.
Intellectual property rights in past few years is defining the way telecom industry is shaping up in India, especially the prices of the services and end devices. How do you think IP rights in the domain of IoT will shape up the market in India? Will the technology and the services be cheap enough for the easy access to people?
IoT is an evolving field, one with new technologies, standards and IPs being introduced every other day. But, for any solution to be successfully productized, an enterprise will need to draw up a pragmatic roadmap which will focus on driving business value for the customer.
What are the various IoT devices you are launching in the market under ‘V by Vodafone’?
‘V by Vodafone’ is a set of IoT-connected home and leisure electronics products introduced in Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. More information regarding the same may be found at blog.v.vodafone.com.
Why will a telecom giant like Vodafone get into the hardcore hardware line of business of IoT? It can be a revenue line extension but does it fit the brand? If yes, how?
As a telco, Vodafone has already moved beyond offering just connectivity. It is India’s first and perhaps only telco to offer an end-to-end approach to an IoT deployment, called SuperIoT, which spans the device, connectivity, data platform, and application enablement platform. Currently, it includes Fixed Asset tracking, Movable asset tracking and People Safety - Employee Tracking and Student in-transit tracking. Vodafone supports the entire solution, which means it becomes easy for customers to manage everything with one partner, rather than having to reach out to an endless set of partners for every single link in their IoT chain.