Ofcom Calls for Public Input Into Internet of Things Era

The British communications regulator Ofcom is seeking public’s input in its efforts to devise a strategy to handle the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) era.

The 14-page document, titled Promoting Investment and Innovation in the Internet of Things, is very extensive in laying out the issues, opportunities and challenges faced by regulators as they seek to come to grips with IOT era.

British public can send in their comments by October 1st, 2014, and the regulator will come out with the results and analysis during the last quarter of this year.

The report comes in the wake of forecasts that by 2022, there will be 370 million IOT-related devices in the country.

Critical Issues Raised in the British Ofcom IOT Report:

  • Spectrum-Related Issues – the scale and nature of demand for spectrum, and whether there will be any additional spectrum needed. If indeed more spectrum will be needed the regulator wants to know how much and which frequency bands may be suitable, and whether the appropriate strategy will be move forward on a licenced or on a licence-exempt access system.

Should also the spectrum be dedicated or shared, and within the shared spectrum range, should there be release of additional, lower frequency spectrums to allow better indoor coverage for devices such as smart metering?

  • Privacy and Data/Network Security — IOT devices will be used for personal, commercial and other highly sensitive projects and, and in the case of the last two, high network security will be necessary. As well, data security and sovereignty issues will also have to be clarified.
  • Numbering and Addressing – the document foresees the possibility of some devices and related technologies using the current mobile phone numbers, though it might eventually create a mobile number crunch, unless a change to the current number system is created. For others, the regulator is envisaging the use of IP addresses, or even MAC numbers.
  • Ofcam’s Role – the regulator also wants to know from the public what its role should be, given the important and strategic nature IOT will play in society as a whole.

To read more, go to the Ofcam’s Promoting Investment and Innovation in Internet of Things.

For more stories on Internet of Things, visit www.iotgram.com

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