NEW DELHI: Vodafone Idea said that starting an Internet of Things (IoT) journey with 5G will be an “expensive mistake” for enterprises, and the 4G technology is more than sufficient for a plethora of enterprise and industrial use cases for the next three to five years in India.
“For the current use cases that are being adopted and clients are willing to pay for, even 2G is good enough because they are looking for basic telematics. Then comes 4G, which will be good enough for at least three to five years. It is good enough for most of the use cases today that we are deploying in the market,” Amit Satpathy, executive vice president and head of Internet of Things at Vodafone Idea, told ET in an interview.
Satpathy said that 5G will come into play once you try to do very high-end industrial 4.0 or some healthcare solutions use cases where high precision, speed and latency are required.
“But today, 4G is good enough for any enterprise to start… they cannot start the journey from 5G…it will be an expensive mistake; I think they need to dabble in learning this journey and taking that roadmap out,” he added.
Vodafone Idea currently focuses on three horizontal verticals under its IoT business focus: smart mobility, smart infra and smart utility.
The executive said that smart mobility is the largest vertical for Vodafone Idea’s IoT business in terms of revenue and growth. He said that most of the innovation is also happening under this vertical.
“…because that is where we have a right to play… here IoT solution is moving across the country. The enterprises face this as the biggest challenge: how do they get a dynamic solution? I think that’s the largest growing area, and we are focusing a lot on that…we believe that we are in a sweet spot.”
Satpathy said that the entire country is undergoing a transformation in logistics and supply chains. ” That’s where the opportunity is for enterprises to reduce their logistics costs from, say, 14% to 8-9%. Many multiple use cases are coming up there,” he added.
The IoT market is growing in terms of volume and revenue at 30% CAGR, respectively, The executive said. He, however, added that the impediment to growth is standardization and interoperability.
“…a lot of people have jumped onto the bandwagon and trying to offer a solution. Nothing wrong with that. But if a solution is not onboarded properly, the client will have a very bad taste. And then they abandon this journey, saying I don’t want to be the first guinea pig. Let somebody else try this,” he said.
The executive said Vodafone Idea recently launched its IoT lab to offer the right solutions. A specialist team helps enterprises design these solutions. “We are trying to expand the category the right way so that the customers have the right experience.”