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Connecting everything: challenges for IoT

Internet of Things

MWC24 will, as ever, explore the key challenges facing the communications industry. In this blog, we’ll make a head start on the discussion by looking at a major theme of the conference: the development of the Internet of Things.

You probably don’t need to be told that connected devices are, now, everywhere. Analysts predict there’ll be over 15 billion of them within the next twenty four month bringing together everything that requires a network solution in an open, seamless, sustainable, and secure way. Or that’s the idea.

It’s an idea that demands a big ecosystem if everything’s going to work so if we’re going to build more adaptable, automated and cost-efficient networks, it’s worth taking a minute to understand the barriers the industry faces in delivering. Here are five.

1. Security

For IoT devices, security is an omnipresent challenge because many collect and transmit sensitive data, and any embedded vulnerabilities could lead to privacy breaches or unauthorized access. Delivering robust security in areas like encryption and authentication, will be crucial for the widespread adoption of IoT.

2. Interoperability

There’s generally a lack of standardized protocols and interoperability among many IoT devices and platforms. Addressing this is a significant challenge with different manufacturers using different communication protocols that hinder seamless integration and communication between products. Standardization efforts and adoption processes are something we expect to hear discussed in Barcelona.

3. Data

IoT devices gather large amounts of data and that means concerns about data privacy and ownership are well placed and still growing. Users may not be – but need to be – fully aware of how their data is being used, and defining clear guidelines for data ownership, consent, and usage is essential to build trust among consumers.

4. Scale

If, as widely predicted, IoT continues to grow exponentially, then scalability will be a challenge in terms of managing the sheer volume of devices, data, and the infrastructure required to support them. How will this be achieved?

5. Network connectivity

IoT devices need secure and reliable network access to function but in some regions, connectivity to the required level isn’t available, limiting the deployment of IoT solutions. The development of robust and extensive communication networks will be vital to addressing this challenge.


We’d expect all these topics to be aired and investigated in detail at MWC24, along with others such as IoT power consumption, regulatory and legal issues, IoT ecosystems (likely to be far more complex than has traditionally been the case), and even the social and ethical implications of the technology.

One thing’s for sure: addressing IoT will require the telco industry comes together, collaboration among stakeholders, policymakers, and technology experts being table stakes to creating the standards, regulations, and technological solutions necessary for success. Bookmark this page. We’ll be reporting on the news from Barcelona and what advances the conversations about IoT yield once the event begins in February.

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