IoT Continuum, a partnership to accelerate the mass deployment of cellular IoT

Orange, Sierra Wireless, LACROIX and STMicroelectronics — leading players from the IoT ecosystem — launch IoT Continuum partnership program. By providing pre-integrated technological building blocks, validated and proven on Orange networks, they intend to make the lives of IoT manufacturers easier and accelerate the industrialization of IoT projects in general.

“A partnership program to support and accelerate projects by reducing the inherent complexities and controlling levels of risk.”

As in previous years, 2021 will see sustained growth for the Internet of Things (IoT) market. IDC predicts that investment in IoT hardware, software, connectivity solutions and services will reach $202 billion (€171 billion) in Europe this year. And this spending dynamic will continue to experience double-digit growth every year through 2025.

Many try, few succeed

This exponential growth on paper must nevertheless be put into perspective based on the realities of IoT sensor and solution manufacturers.

As explained by Nicolas Ducrot, VP Enterprise IoT at Orange Innovation: “Producing and deploying an IoT use case is a long and complex process. It is estimated that it takes more than 18 months on average to get from the idea generation phase to large-scale industrial deployment. This technical and operational complexity stems from the fragmentation of both the technologies and the market itself. Project developers may be forced to choose between different building blocks within a very fragmented ecosystem—communication modules from X, sensors from Y, a microcontroller from Z—without any guarantee of interoperability or compatibility. And even if they do successfully develop a prototype, there will be no guarantee that the selected components can be used for the pre-production phase, and the same is true for the large-scale industrialization phase. Less than 10 in every 100 projects will make it past the finish line.”

Supporting and accelerating projects

This observation is what led to the IoT Continuum initiative, which brings together providers of key IoT building blocks — Orange for connectivity, Sierra Wireless for the provision and management of communication modules, LACROIX for the design and manufacture of devices and STMicroelectronics for semiconductors. This innovative IoT partnership program aims to support and accelerate projects by reducing their inherent complexities, controlling costs and alleviating levels of risk.

IoT Continuum spans the entire value chain of IoT projects: “Start, Prove, Deploy & Scale.”

“For each of these key steps, we provide a set of pre-integrated industrial tools, components and solutions, supporting scalability and compatible at every phase, so that there’s no need to redesign as the IoT project progresses. For example, this could take the form of an LTE-M development kit based on industrial components. Whatever you design with this kit can be reused for subsequent phases, removing the need to select the product’s building blocks all over again or redevelop. As the name suggests, IoT Continuum provides continuity.”

Scalable solutions

Regardless of whether project developers join the process at the Start, Prove, or Deploy & Scale stage, they are promised a smooth journey. IoT Continuum’s advanced hardware and software solutions are accompanied by support services and technical expertise. Moreover, by bringing together strong, recognized, sustainable and interconnected players from the IoT ecosystem, the very nature of the initiative guarantees speed and ensures that a project will be studied and executed jointly and coherently.

Although newly launched, IoT Continuum already has a number of projects and concrete use cases for large customers in the pipeline, particularly in the asset tracking area. The program also aims to address the needs of large verticals involved in the development of cellular IoT, such as smart building, Industry 4.0 and healthcare.

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