MWC brings us the Internet of Cows

Pauline Trotter/Ovum
27 Feb 2014

MWC has been awash with connected pet and connected child solutions, and NTT DoCoMo and Deutsche Telekom have now announced connected cow projects.

As amusing as it might sound, there is a serious side to their work. Both projects involve using sensors connected to a cellular gateway to monitor pregnant cows and ensure the safe delivery of calves.

In NTT DoCoMo’s case the service is deployed to 30,000 cows and alerts farmers to changes in the temperature of the pregnant cows, which signal that delivery is about to begin. The solution has reduced the rate of calf deaths from 10% to less than 1%.

The significance of these projects is that they suggest that sensors of all kinds are getting cheap enough to be offered in mass-market products. Furthermore, the combination of sensors with analytics and more usable front ends mean that the Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly becoming a reality.

However, although the above examples come from major operators, many implementations are being deployed in OTT scenarios. Operators and the major system integrators continue to enthuse about the size of the IOT market, but neither really understands what it has to do with the internet.

They seem to think that the internet just provides the transport for application fortresses that they will still own and control. These sensors, and the platforms they interact with, will be the basis of the next OTT player to take yet another opportunity from under the noses of the established players.

Pauline Trotter is a principal analyst for enterprise communications at Ovum. For more information, visit


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