Reliance Jio Infocomm seems to have ambitious plans to foray into the IoT space and has appointed a senior technical hand to take this forward.
The new appointee, Ayush Sharma has been designated as the Senior Vice President of Engineering and Technology, with a clear brief to work on focused fields like mobile edge computing, distributed artificial intelligence and blockchain.
It is understood that Sharma and the team under him will take up the applications using these technologies meant for the institutional customers, such as enterprises and industries, and the beginning could be made with the vast network available within the parent Reliance Group, particularly in the retail and logistics segments. Once perfected, they can take the technology to the market at large and the consumer segment will also be covered in due course.
Sharma expects the results to emerge in a year’s time and the products for the consumers may be out by then. The enterprises and industries, with special emphasis on industries, like automobiles, appliances and consumer durables may see some work being done by the new team under Sharma earlier than that. According to Ayush Sharma, his IoT team will build their “own platform with big data strength” while working closely with prospective customers in these segments. The bandwidth and latency required for the institutional customers will be backed by Jio’s 4G network.
Besides this new foray, Jio has already been working on the fibre-to-home connectivity and even enterprise solutions, but this is till now limited to only a very few locations.
One of the projects included in this is to provide home automation solution though the broadband network which involves converting home appliances into smart devices by virtue of smart plugs that will be installed in the homes and being controlled through smartphones and tablets.
Yet another plan envisages launching security devices like smart cameras, smart doorbells and smart locks and getting into the home security and surveillance space.
Interestingly, Reliance Jio’s rival in the telecom business, Airtel, also has similar plans to enter the home automation and IoT segments, including machine-to-machine solutions. These will be with the objective to augment revenues which have taken a hit following the price war mounted by Jio.
But market observers feel the market for home automation and ‘smart home’ products and technology is poised to leap from around $24.10 billion in 2016 to over $53.45 billion by 2022. So, there’s room for everyone.