Seasons Greetings, fellow friends of IoT!
In this blogpost we’ll be reviewing what happened in 2016 in the IoT and M2M world, and more particularly asking what impact 2016 had on Pangea, our partners, and the channel? Let’s do a quick recap and find out.
Rollout of the Pangea Evolved Network
Let’s start near the beginning of 2016. One of the major things we did in Pangea was introduce enhanced services, including static IP and private APNs. This was made possible as we rolled out our own evolved data network, which aggregated mobile data interconnects from a number of mobile network operators. Our new products now include:
Public static IP SIM cards:
These SIMs have a public static IP, just like a fibre or Ethernet connection. This allows customers to have full compatibility with services such as site to site VPN’s, and complex hosted VoIP products – which were not possible with the traditional and more common private IP SIM cards.
customers can come directly to us for an APN where their SIM card traffic would be tunnelled directly into their data network. This means customers can build what is essentially a secure, end to end VPN, between the SIM enabled device and their data network. The SIM cards are hidden from the Internet, however they are still accessible from the data network itself.
In 2017, we plan to leverage our network further to include services such as data analytics which will give our customers a better idea about their end user profiles and find new ways to market services.
Security concerns in IoT
In mid to late 2016 there was a lot of focus on IoT security. Not to say that there never was a concern, but a few high profile attacks such as the one on DynDNS reached general media coverage.
We have all heard of, and know what a DDoS attack is. The DynDNS bought IoT security to the forefront however because it was done using the Mirai botnet. Previously, a botnet DDoS would imply that a large number of compromised hosts would send traffic to a particular server and take that server offline. The compromised hosts would have been infected systems such as end user PC’s. Mirai, however, was designed to infect devices more in the IoT space – such as IP CCTV cameras which had not had their default password changed, or residential broadband routers.
In this case Mirai was able to succeed because of poorly designed security on those devices. The device manufacturer had not made it mandatory to change the default password, and also made it possible to have access available over the WAN interface, in other words, directly accessible from the Internet.
You can read more about the benefits of public static IP services in my previous blogpost, where I explored in detail why security measures are important when using public static IP’s.
Overall we believe DDoS attacks have the potential to be a much more significant concern in the future, as SIM enabled devices start to expand their feature set (e.g. CCTV’s moving from single frame captures to HD streaming video) requiring 4G connectivity to operate. A single device could send 50+ Mbps of data – in some cases more than a home fibre connection!
4G developments and 5G considerations
4G has been with us for a few years now and has proven to be a successful option when looking for fixed line alternatives. This year we’ve seen some networks introducing ‘enhanced’ 4G services, such as allowing the devices to connect to multiple masts at the same time. In our own testing we have seen upwards of 70Mbps. Of course other factors can affect speeds so it’s always important to be realistic when putting together a solution for a customer.
5G still continues to be on the horizon with a few companies such as large network operations and network equipment manufacturers coming together to build 5G test networks. The expectations of huge bandwidth, extremely low latency and excellent coverage continue to excite. You can read more about 5G here.
Pangea will be attending the Mobile World Congress in February 2017 – and we expect to learn a lot about the latest in 5G developments at the time.
The Pi-Gea project
We worked on the Raspberry Pi project and demonstrated it at Convergence Summit South, a major Telecoms channel expo. The project was to demonstrate a typical IoT device – it had a display, and cellular connectivity via a 3G dongle. We could connect to the Pi remotely and write a message through the server and, through the magic of technology, have that message scrolling across the Pi display instantly! A very basic demonstration, but the reason we did it was to show a working example of an IoT application.
We’re looking to expand on the Pi next year and have it running as an ongoing IoT experiment – if you have any suggestions, let us know!
Wrap up and next year
Looking forward to next year, we will be continuing to grow Pangea in terms of products and capability, so keep an eye on our blog posts and our vlogs to see how we are helping the telecoms channel innovate and win new business through enablement of customers IoT strategies.
See you soon!