The internet of things (IoT) is a relatively new technology trend, but it is steadily growing in popularity. Statista predicted that by 2025, the number of IoT devices worldwide will reach 75.44 billion. MarketsandMarkets forecasted that the IoT market will reach $561.04 billion by 2022.
At first, IoT was best known for its role in creating smart homes equipped with automated coffee makers, self-adjusting atmospheric controls, and refrigerators that ordered groceries for you. Today, IoT has taken off in the business sector, enabling companies to use beacons and sensors to gather data from equipment and supply chains.
Because IoT devices are connected, choosing the right network (and the right network provider) is vital if your company wants to get the most out of IoT. Fiber optic connectivity allows your business to take advantage of the benefits of IoT.
Here is a quick look at 5 ways reliable fiber connectivity enhances IoT:
1) Obtaining Real-Time Insights
IoT sensors generate a continual stream of data about the products and equipment they are connected to. This data can be mined for valuable insights using analytics applications.
For these insights to be relevant and actionable, the data needs to be gathered, transmitted, and processed quickly. A high-speed, low-latency fiber optic network enables this IoT data to travel from the connected device to your company’s data center at the speed of light.
2) Bridging the Distance Between Connected Devices
IoT relies on machine-to-machine communication, often over long distances. Connected devices may be located in the field at a work site, at any point along a supply chain, in a warehouse, or on an assembly line in a factory. These far-flung devices need to transmit information to the main database so information can be processed.
A reliable fiber optic network will not only transmit that information quickly, but also securely and reliably.
3) Handling High Volumes of Data
IoT devices are always producing information, contributing to big data traffic. IDC predicts that by 2025, the global level of data will rise to 163 zettabytes or 1 trillion GBs, partially due to the replacement of analog devices by IoT devices. By 2025, people will interact with IoT devices an average of 4,800 times per day.
The massive amount of data produced by IoT require extensive bandwidth. Traditional networks may develop bottlenecks. Fiber optic cables handle the traffic from IoT devices more efficiently than copper cables because the glass fibers are so thin. More fibers can fit into a cable, and each fiber can support multiple wavelengths to transmit exponentially more data.
4) Managing Risk
IoT extends the attack surface beyond the perimeter of a company’s system. Each IoT device is an endpoint that is vulnerable to being attacked by hackers. Data is also at risk of being stolen or compromised as it travels from the device to an on-site data center. According to the consulting firm Bain & Company, 45% of IoT purchasers say security concerns stand in the way of IoT adoption.
Fiber optic connections are difficult to hack into compared to copper. Attempts to tap a connection often break the glass fiber, causing a noticeable interruption and alerting companies of a breach. Because fiber optics transmits information using light, it does not emit electromagnetic signals that can be intercepted in transit.
5) Managing Assets
IoT sensors can be used to track the location and status of equipment. Based on the data collected, companies can schedule predictive maintenance and prevent equipment breakdowns.
Much of this equipment is located remotely, on work sites, in factories, in warehouses, or along the supply chain. Low-latency connectivity is necessary to ensure that asset management data is being sent to the data center for analysis in a timely manner.
The Way to Better IoT
Connecting your IoT devices using a reliable, redundant, and secure low-latency fiber optic network is the ideal way to overcome the challenges of IoT while enhancing its benefits. Fiber optics provides a fast, reliable, and secure connection between IoT devices so your company can profit from the data the IoT sensors and beacons collect.
FirstLight can help your company make the most of IoT with our extensive fiber optic network. We have built one of the largest fiber optic networks in the Northeast. Customers in a wide variety of industries have partnered with us to access networks with high levels of dedicated bandwidth. We can increase capacity up to 100 Gbps to handle the large volume of data created by IoT.