Netizens in the Philippines received some good news this week as the government announced the commencement of the national broadband project. The project is expected to improve broadband services and infrastructure, and thus increase internet speed all over the country. The Philippines has one of the slowest internet in the world, which is ironic, given that the country also has among the highest social media users in the world.
According to the UK-based research firm OpenSignal, the Philippines ranks among the countries with the slowest LTE download speeds at an average of 6 mbps. The average LTE download speed globally is 13 mbps. Coverage is also a problem, with only 43% of the country having access to the internet.
So that’s the reason many Pinoys are jumping up and down with the new development on broadband connectivity which is said to cost the government billions. Many are hoping that by addressing coverage and speed, the country could now begin the much delayed task of integrating IoT into every aspect of the economy, governance, and practically everything else. The Philippines needs this to catch up with its counterparts in Asia.
The next big question is how to begin. The government is in a good position as far as learning from other country’s best practices and lessons in applying IoT solutions to industries. Application of IoT technology in the Philippines is, after all, at the nascent stage where IoT can be set up in a such a way that it can be far more advanced and robust than older technologies. To begin with, the technology needs to be firmly set on a standard that will form the ecosystem for IoT. Experts says the most acceptable technology today to set an IoT standard is the LTE or the Long Term Evolution.
In an article posted by Andrew Nash on IoT Central, it was noted that the world is facing a real problem about having “no central IoT standards or real oversight over development”, with nearly five billion smart devices spread across an array of standards and protocols. It said – and we fully agree – that it’s a daunting task to apply a single standard to a device, and yes, much less the integration of the IoT ecosystem as whole.
The solution being proposed in the article is the use of LTE. It is said to provide the most practical approach with the lowest barriers and fastest time to market. According to studies, LTE offers the most resiliency and efficiency for IoT, as proven by Apple for its many IoT devices. In the United States, LTE has the widest coverage, and specific bands can be built within its system to improve its IoT services. The LTE technology has the capability and flexibility to accommodate IoT devices of any type and for any industry.
The report also added: “IoT devices also benefit from reduced device and network complexity, increased coverage for hard-to-reach IoT devices, multi-year battery life, efficient signaling and higher node density. Other notable benefits of LTE as the new standard for IoT are global scalability, increased quality of service and end-to-end security and authentication.
The national broadband infrastructure could pave the way for real progress for the Philippines through the use of IoT. But each step needs to be thought through very carefully. Having LTE as a standard could be a good start.