Some people believe the IoT is relatively young – and it is if you think about the IoT as only “Internet” connected things. Which it is.

The fact is, connecting machines in the Industrial IoT (IIoT) has been around for decades, when one considers the maturity of “industrial automation” which precedes the IoT considerably.

Today there are thousands of “industrial automation” deployments out there, still doing journeyman work connecting machines to systems using traditional networks including early and middle generation ZigBee.

ZigBee was conceived in 1998, standardized in 2003, and revised in 2006. The name refers to the waggle dance of honey bees after their return to the beehive, according to Wikipedia.

ZigBee’s specification is simpler and cheaper than other wireless personal area networks (WPANs), such as Bluetooth or WiFi, and controls light switches, meters, traffic management systems and more.

ZigBee devices can transmit data over long distances by passing data through a mesh network of intermediate devices to reach more distant ones, which is where the world is heading as the IoT really DOES hit the “billions” of predicted connected devices.

I’ve been astounded recently by certain so-called experts saying that Tier One network service providers cannot make money in IoT. They are thinking small. What’s actually happening is that real time communications giants have been waiting and watching the technologies mature – knowing a massive transformation to IP was nascent and is now about to boom.

Smart companies like AT&T are working with the LPWAN providers in partnership, in an ecosystem mode, so they can offer end-to-end massive enterprise wide IoT deployments, not just in science experiement mode (proof of concept in one or two factories) but with regional, national and global solutions (industrial automatation done on an enterprise scale leveraging IP networks that continue to grow).

Smart companies like Intel are investing in providing solutions that run over those same LPWAN networks and like the communications service providers have been investing in paving the way to the creation of billions of dollars in value now that the “shake down” cruises have been completed.

That industry analysts write there is no profit available to “telcos” is astonishing, but then again – maybe it’s not so surprising, given how slow those same telcos were to understand the challengers in the social media messaging space – companies like WhatsApp that was acquired by Facebook for $19B with no revenue, only 800M active users.

This time around, we are seeing tremendous attention being paid by the largest telcos in the world, and it’s good timing since the money they spent transforming legacy networks to all-IP can now be recovered through IoT solutions that truly live up to the promise of a massive shift in how we live, with machines and people inextricably connected.

Looking forward to seeing you in Vegas if you were wise enough to attend this 16th IoT Evolution event produced by Crossfire Media and supported by TMC.net.

I’ll be speaking Wednesday at 3PM supporting the Fog Computing/Data & Analytics track.

Andy

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