back to article Internet of Thingies bods: Forget 3G, let's go straight to 4G

The M2M (machine to machine) industry is restyling itself as The Internet of Things, and in keeping with the new trendy name, it doesn’t want any of that old-fashioned 3G. Macario Namie, marketing veep at M2M stalwart Jasper Wireless, told The Register that while the names change, the problems don’t. He says his company is …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely...

    ... IoT of IoT is only applicable when you have multiple Internetsies of Thingsies connected together.

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    The internet of cars

    > a "connected" car sending significant data – both telemetry and perhaps video – might need the bandwidth of 4G.

    This might sound like a good idea in isolation, but even a 4G network would soon collapse if presented by a whole motorway-full of cars, all streaming video - mostly of the cars in front and behind: all of which would be streaming exactly the same views back again - and engine management telemetry and all the other stuff that is unquestionably *possible* even if of questionable *worth*.

    From my understanding, the IoT is more suited to being a "below the radar" network of small devices sending bitsy little packets on an infrequent basis: the comparison with tweets being not just the size, of the records, but their value, too. It's not meant to turn every road-borne vehicle into a Formula-1 racer, complete with live video feeds and EMU/biometric data. That would never scale (but would make a fortune for 4G carriers).

    1. Oninoshiko
      WTF?

      Re: The internet of cars

      WhyTF does my car need to stream video?

      I realize this is kinda your point, but it doesn't even sound like a good idea in isolation.

  3. Don Jefe

    I'm no moderately successful business person and engineer or anything, but I've always had the best luck with projects that fill a void/solve problems/eliminate enemies. If you build the thing first you risk angering ancient gods who will send an enemy immune to your weapon or Internet enabled garbage cans that tell you when they are full.

    I realize that I'm sending this message from a smartphone while riding down the Beltway in the backseat of my car while it's receiving real time traffic data over a 3G network. It might sound dumb for me to be a bit cynical about the possibilities of everything being online, I just can't see much good use for all that stuff.

    I'm sure people will fire off all sorts of examples of how I'm wrong and I'm sure a lot of them will be valid. But I just don't see many. Everything that's not critical or valuable is connected already and the things that are critical and valuable shouldn't be connected anyway. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well in this case, it's a problem waiting for a solution

      I can't speak for every suggested use of the web of bits, in-car is most definitely one of them.

      There's shedloads of insurance fraud that's basically impossible to prove, and connected cameras are definitely the solution (video evidence means instant settlement, no protracted he-said-she-said in court, therefore loads of money saved instead of spent on lawyers and dished out to fraudsters).

      The current solutions are, to put it nicely, terrible. You either get a camera with wifi (expensive) and a hilariously overpriced wifi setup in your garage so the vehicles can upload the day's footage while you sleep, or you get a camera with an SD card, and trust the driver to not eat the evidence. Hint: if the camera proves they're in the wrong, they eat the evidence.

      Currently a 4G solution would be as unpalatable as the former, because what you save in wifi hubs you lose in expensive data costs and 4G capacity. But data costs always come down, and if they can get the capacity then I can guarantee there's a lot of money to be made. And that is just one application.

    2. TheOtherHobbes

      >Everything that's not critical or valuable is connected already and the things that are critical and valuable shouldn't be connected anyway.

      IoT is basically an O'Reilly hypegasm, created in a bid to be relevant.

      The last time that happened OR gave us Web 2.0. And we know how that worked out.

      If you look on OR Radar, you'll see lots of 'innovative examples' which are just plain moronic. Things like ovens that know when you put a chicken in them - because no one ever puts vegetables in to bake with a chicken, and RFID chips taste yummy.

      And washing machines that know when you put your jeans in. Which would be great if they could also decide if your new black 501s should take precedence over your girlfriend's Very White Top in the same load - before war breaks out.

      It's like reading a Disney World of Tomorrow thing from the 1950s. ("Creating Innovation for the Suburban Family of the Future")

      I'm still waiting for an IoT application that's cheap, useful, and exciting. I suspect I may have to wait a while.

      (It's probably not impossible. IoT just smells of WAP, and other technologies that were a solution in search of a thing that needed a different solution.)

  4. Tom B

    Are they nuts?

    I can barely afford the monthly bills for my own not-so-smart mobile, and now they're expecting me to sign up for an account for my *car* that's more expensive (with data minutes) than my own? Let's ignore the security issues involved in having a connected car shall we? The cost of that connectivity is simply unacceptable. If someone wants my car to be connected, *they're* going to have to pay the bill, because it's *not* going to be me.

    Internet of Things my arse!

    1. d3rrial

      Re: Are they nuts?

      Wouldn't you like it if your windows would instant message you what weather you have every 5 minutes, or your trash-cans creating pop up windows on your PC telling you that the trash-can is full? Or how about your shower texting your smartmobe how warm the water of the shower you're currently taking is? (Like cold, medium or hot). Especially interesting would be your lightbulbs texting you if they're on or off every couple of minutes in whatsapp. Just think about the possibilities!

  5. Mage Silver badge

    The Other issue is Coverage.

    Many regulators have very low requirements on Geographic and Population Coverage.

    Operators left to their own will do very much less coverage than GSM has. Very often 3G falls back to GSM / Edge. The 4G operators will cherry pick.

    There is no USO with Mobile. Certainly in many countries for next 10 to 20 years 4G coverage will be much less than 60% Geographically and in some Western countries less than 50%.

  6. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    4G is needed so that

    Every word that is said by the occupants of every vehicle as well as all text's, tweets and obscene gestures (caught by the many mandatory 20+ cameras) you give to other plonkers on the road can be sent to that round thing near Cheltenham, oh yes Big Brother, a.k.a GCHQ with copies to the NSA for safe keeping naturally.

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