The Wireless IoT Forum (WIoTF) has announced its launch, saying it aims to drive the standardisation and deployment of connected devices and appliances, and the development and adoption of wireless wide-area networking (WAN) technologies, reports Telecoms.com.
The organisation said it will work with stakeholders across the board, including operators, infrastructure providers, app developers in utilities, government and specialist SMEs, semiconductor vendors, and end-users.
Its goal, according to the WIoTF, is to encourage the adoption of WAN IoT connectivity in competition with, or as a complement to, LAN, PAN, mesh and other options, spanning all forms of WAN connectivity, including 3GPP cellular-IoT and license-exempt WAN IoT
Although the founding members of the WIoTF won’t be revealed until 28 April, apparently to be announced at the M2M World Congress, the group said Will Franks has been appointed as Chairman and William Webb as CEO. Franks’ background is in Cisco-acquired small cell vendor Ubiquisys, where he was Founder and CTO. Webb is currently also President at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), as well as previously having held senior positions at Ofcom.
According to Franks, openness is a key to successful mobile technologies. “Successful wireless technologies have always been founded on interoperability, open standards, and a focus on the demands of end-users,” he said.
“The Forum is committed to securing these conditions and working with all major stakeholders to ensure successful and timely deployment of the Internet of Things worldwide. We are delighted to have helped bring together key industry players with the common goal of driving standardisation and interoperability. These players have the vision to recognise the need to collaborate to create robust technology platforms while competing to create dynamic markets.”
One of the aims of the WIoTF is to minimise fragmentation within the IoT market. Webb said: “The wireless Internet of Things is bringing connectivity and control to an order of magnitude more devices, however there is a very real risk of fragmented standards and technologies holding back the development of the market.
“There has also been a tremendous amount of work done in the IoT world across a wide range of technologies. As in the cellular world, the success of this will lie in the promotion of open standards. The Forum will work tirelessly to make this a reality in the IoT world.”
Nicolas Graube, fellow at Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR), agreed with the view the IoT will not materialise in a meaningful way unless common standards are put in place. Commenting on the back of an announcement about Cambridge Wireless’ upcoming Future of Wireless International Conference (to be held 23 and 24 June), he said: “The IoT is arguably at the peak of its hype cycle and there are some significant obstacles that must be overcome before this dream can become a reality.
“Standardisation coupled with the logistics involved in managing, protecting and making accessible the constant stream of data generated by an ever growing number of connected devices are just some of the key challenges that lie ahead’.
IoT certainly has been one of the industry’s most prominent buzzwords for some time but it seems lately a growing number of people have started to voice concern over the absence of any standardisation. As recently reported by Telecoms.com, the importance of security and simplicity of use have also been highlighted as key considerations for the IoT. It looks like the period of hype is beginning to come to an end and the industry needs to start focusing on developing a framework under which the IoT can materialise in a meaningful way.
The 2nd annual Internet of Things World event to be held in San Francisco in May is due to address some of the challenges ahead of the industry in terms of IoT. Sign up here.