Keys to a connected future

Lisa Mitnick, Accenture
22 Jun 2010

The next frontier in the evolution of communications technology is generally considered to be embedded mobile connectivity - the use of embedded cellular radio technology to seamlessly link devices ranging from e-readers, to computers, to cameras, to medical devices, home appliances and automobiles. However, the dream of this connected world has not yet come to fruition.

A series of joint 2010 surveys by Accenture and the GSMA targeting consumers, corporations and mobile network operators identified a number of hurdles that need to be overcome to help enable the market to take off.

The surveys show that consumers and corporate users of embedded mobile devices have high hopes for this lifestyle-changing technology. However, these users think it will be a few years until these new services deliver on the promise. Consumers find that devices do not work together as well as they should. And companies cite lack of standards, high cost of the chipsets and issues around business models as hurdles to adoption.

How might service providers overcome this shortfall? A switch in overall thinking is the key. First, let's examine some of the survey findings.

Barriers to adoption

Accenture first surveyed technology early-adopter consumers - those who own at least four networked devices and use multiple internet software services - in 10 countries (US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, China, India and Brazil) about embedded mobile connectivity. The results showed:

  • 66% believe that most of the electronic devices they purchase in the future will connect to the internet.
  • 82% said these networked devices will save them time.
  • 86% think connected devices will simplify their lives.
  • 82% think that these devices will bring them closer to friends and family.
  • 54% believe that multiple devices do not work together as well as they should.

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