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Making Laws For The Internet Of Things (Part 2)

Under the reference article released by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the National Telecom M2M Roadmap, machine to machine (M2M) learning is highlighted as a critical area to make headway in for India’s future economic prosperity. However M2M along with the technology that enables it, the Internet of Things (IoT) can only be adopted by the various industries only if policymakers create and revise regulations to allow for this somewhat high-risk and incredibly new technology to be used with more freedom than allowed for existing IT infrastructure.

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Here’s what the experts present said.

D. P. De, senior DDG of the Telecommunication Engineering Centre said, “ A huge amount of hype around IoT is likely to come in the next two years. There may be as many as 2.6 billion connected devices by 2020 in India especially for businesses.”

Mr. De also believed that for IoT and M2M to truly take off in India, the technology has to have standardized infrastructure and protocol. “It will need that particular ingredient that will make it popular, in addition to proprietary software and hardware. We will need a starndardized solution like what IP or the internet has. It has to be easy to use, and easily replicable worldwide as we come to a point where one person may have seven to eight devices connected to the internet.”

Agreeing with what Mr. De said, Rajnesh D Singh, director of Asia-Pacific region for the Internet Society (ISOC) built on the dialogue to say, “Open standards will be best as we build hardware and software in the IoT era.”

Saurabh Malhotra, policy manager at GSMA spoke on how policies should be forward looking and not rely on past frameworks. “There will be solution providers in various industries like health, military, manufacturing and the framework should fit them all. M2M IoT is truly globalized in nature and at all limited to one region. There will be Supply chains with delivery vehicles connected via internet. So policy should not be restrictive. We will need technology-neutral framework. In addition licensed telecom operators can’t share data at present, this is another gap that must be bridged. A legacy framework won’t work here, interoperable standards must be focused upon.”

Whatever the devices Indians will be using in the IoT age, the call to action to encourage using and making devices locally came from N. K. Goyal, president of the Communication Multimedia And Infrastructure (CMAI) Association. “We started this topic about ten years ago, but I hope we won’t repeat our mobile-first success story because we were relying on imported mobiles for twenty years, even today we rely on imports. I believe it would be best as we go forward to form policies calling to manufacture solutions domestically for India.”

Rajesh Goel, country manager for enterprise group pre sales at Hewlett Packard Enterprise India emphasizing rising concern for cyber security to be considered while drawing policies for the digital era said, “While IoT implementation in the manufacturing space can increase GDP growth by 1 to 5 per cent, the key issue of cyber security must also be addressed.”

Findings by Cisco signal that whatever policymakers choose to do about M2M, it must happen fast, else the imminent digital divide thanks will leave late adopters in the dust. The global average rate of M2M devices available in a region by 2019 is 43% while countries like Korea, Japan, US, Australia and UK show more than 50%, India is predicted to be at only 13%. Consensus from experts is: “India is lagging even though the opportunity here is immense and given the potential this kind of gap is just not acceptable and must be eliminated quickly as possible.”

Virat Bhatia, chairman of the FICCI ICT and digital economy committee began by saying by lauding the relaxation of laws over the years. “Policies have relaxed, if they hadn’t it would still take 6 years to get a phone line; now you can have a mobile connection in 15 minutes.

IoT can change how business is conducted, efficiency can be radically changed if the projections and numbers are right."

He also drew attention for a need to make sure policies for new technologies like IoT will better manage the burgeoning adoption pace that India is capable of.

“It took mobile telephony 22-23 years to lift off the ground. In the first ten years or so 15 million users weer added, in the next 10 years we had a billion users. We should also look to make sure adoption in a more balanced and controllable way.”

These views were shared at the India Telecom conference.

This year’s India Telecom conference ran under the theme, “Transforming India” and took a serious look at what needed to be done by policy makers and all stakeholders to tip India over its prevailing barriers to become an economy and a nation of people ready to tap the best of the digital era. The conference was jointly organized by the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India, and Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & industry (FICCI).

Experts across the IT ecosystem, both local and international – government officials, regulatory authorities, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs and academicians presented their side of the story to reformers and policy makers at India’s leading international ICT dialogue taking place under the theme, “Transforming India.”

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m2m National Roadmap M2M dot ficci gsma CMAI ISOC

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