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BEREC Public Consultation on Internet of Things Indicators

BEREC Public Consultation on Internet of Things Indicators (BoR (18) 230)

Starting: 11 Dec Ending

0 days left (ends 23 Jan)

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BEREC Public Consultation on Internet of Things Indicators (BoR (18) 230)

BEREC has prepared this call for input with the aim of getting insights from all types of actors (consumers, companies in the telecommunications sector, digital companies, other companies, institutions) on issues to be taken into account by NRAs in the context of BEREC’s approach to monitoring and collecting statistical information on the IoT.

The public consultation will run from 12 December 2018 to 23 January 2019, 17:00 CET.

Enquiries about the consultation, including registration problems with the online platform should be sent to the following email address: BEREC_ IoT_PC@berec.europa.eu


Further info



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Status: Closed
Privacy: Public




Question 1.1:

Do you consider that the European Commission’s definition of the IoT is sufficiently appropriate to collect relevant statistical information on the IoT? If not, how should the definition be changed?
Answer to question 1.1:


Question 1.2:
Please suggest any available sources for information on measures/indicators of the IoT, in addition to the information mentioned above.
Answer to question 1.2:


With respect to existing definitions for the IoT, the landscape is very broad and there are many different viewpoints from which IoT can be distinguished. The different definitions may overlap with each other or have some specific aspects which differentiate. Thus, the specific distinction of IoT depends on individual perspectives, which leads, overall, to relatively vague understandings of the term ‘Internet of Things’. As a starting point for profiling the BEREC ‘Internet of Things universe’, a broad definition may be appropriate to begin with, followed by case-specific determinations.

Boundaries to the IoT


According to ITU-T Y.2060[25], the IoT is a “global infrastructure for the Information Society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on existing and evolving interoperable information and communication technologies. A thing with regard to the IoT is an object of the physical world (physical thing) of the information world (virtual thing), which is capable of being identified and integrated into communication networks.

Through the exploitation of identification, data, capture, processing and communication capabilities, the IoT makes full use of things to offer services to all kinds of applications, whilst ensuring that security and privacy requirements are fulfilled. From a broader perspective, the IoT can be perceived as a vision with technological and societal implications.”

From a regulatory perspective, in the past, the focus was on services eventually foreseen for the use of IoT/M2M. In particular, the focus was on the number of SIM cards used for M2M-transmission services. The background of this restriction lies within the regulatory framework, which allowed NRAs only to oversee telecommunication markets and the respective providers of electronic communication services.

This situation only covers parts of the markets for IoT and does not allow a complete assessment of the markets and the evolution of IoT. The future regulatory framework, namely the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC)[26], would allow NRAs to also consider adjacent markets. Thus, in future, NRAs will be able to generate a more comprehensive assessment of the IoT.

In addition to new competences from the EECC, it may, however, still be impossible to gather a complete overview on IoT markets, since the IoT can be used via private communication networks; for example, a company-wide WiFi-network, or private Bluetooth- or ZigBee[27]-based network. The following illustration gives an initial, broad overview of the boundaries of the IoT. Further detail on this broad overview is elaborated on and itemised later in this document, with a focus on the IoT which is not based on private/non-commercial networks.


Figure 2: the boundaries of the Internet of Things. Source: BEREC.

- Every IoT/M2M-service depends on some form of connectivity, for example, via:

- Traditional electronic communication service (ECS)

- Commercial networks in unlicensed spectrum (for example, SigFox, TheThingsNetwork[28]) or private networks (for example, WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee).


This comprises traditional ECS, for example, ISDN/SMS/data[29], including:

- Dedicated M2M-transmission services, for example, M2M-services offered by a provider of mobile communication services

- Internet Access Services.


  • Internet of Things

    - Comprises the applications of IoT

    - Connectivity via ECS provided through public or private networks.


    - In BEREC’s 2010 report on convergent services[30] M2M is described as “a generic concept that indicates the exchange of information in data format between two remote machines, through a mobile or fixed network, without human intervention.”

    - M2M is a subset of the IoT, and is the combination of ICT and smart, connected devices that allows such devices to interact without any human intervention.

    Broadly speaking (beyond the specific context of this document) what is meant by “human intervention” remains to be explicitly defined; beginning with “no human intervention” via “little human intervention” to “limited human intervention”. M2M communication may also be offered through a mix of proprietary and standardised technologies and, to this effect, the M2M definition above merits some amendments to make it technology neutral by removing specific references to mobile and fixed networks. Moreover, the notion “M2M communication” is used in order to describe the (technical) connection between an IoT device and a data centre, between two devices or the like, which is underlying an IoT service.[31]

NRAs’ considerations on BEREC’s IoT universe


In its supplementary questionnaire on IoT indicators, BEREC provided NRAs an initial draft illustration (see Annex 2 of this document) of what could be considered in BEREC’s universe. Some of the key responses received include the following:

- Distinguish between data-heavy/capacity-heavy and non-data/capacity-heavy IoT devices/services (e.g. devices sending short text strings on a minimal scale such as water level sensors versus data heavy services such as video with continuous streams or services requiring high latency such as medical applications).

- Better to form a more general view of the development of the IoT rather than seek to grasp every detail.

Taking into account RSPG17-006 “A Spectrum Roadmap for IoT”[32], professional mobile radio networks (PMR) could be added, as well as point-to-point and point-to-multipoint systems, and satellite networks.

Illustration of BEREC’s IoT universe


In the broad overview set out above, the IoT “set is vague and could include many different services, applications and devices. To be able to assess the markets of IoT, there is a need to focus on some (of the most important) IoT applications and underlying network technologies. As a first suggestion, those most important categories could be the industrial sector, the automotive sector and the consumer sector.[33]


Figure 3: BEREC’s proposed IoT universe. Source: BEREC.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

The IIoT can greatly improve connectivity, efficiency, scalability, time savings, and cost savings for industrial organisations. Companies are already benefitting from the IIoT through cost savings due to predictive maintenance, improved safety, and other operational efficiencies. However, interoperability and security are probably the two biggest challenges surrounding the implementation of IIoT. A major concern surrounding the Industrial IoT is interoperability between devices and machines that use different protocols and have different architectures.

Automotive Internet of Things (AIoT)

There exist several use cases in the automotive sector which are based on communication between vehicles. Mainly they should improve road safety and prevent accidents. For example, a car could inform another vehicle that is approaching about a potential danger. In addition autonomous cars can help to make the use of the existing infrastructure more efficient and could also increase the comfort of the users, who can make other use of their travel time. These developments, which are currently in progress in the automotive sector require a comprehensive connectivity of the vehicles.

Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT)

In essence, CIoT refers to the IoT in the context of consumer applications, use cases and devices (for example, wearables).The whole idea of CIoT is to continually gain consumer insights and implement the same in creating customised products and services.[34]

Stakeholder questions


Question 2.1:

Do you agree with the multi-layered approach in Figure 2 above, which seeks to separate M2M/IoT from the underlying connectivity and shows the relationship to ECS?


Answer to question 2.1:


Question 2.2:

What is your opinion on the differentiation of IoT and M2M? Do you have any additional proposals regarding such differentiation?


Answer to question 2.2:


Question 2.3:

In relation to application solutions, do you see the three categories “Industrial”, “Automotive” and “Consumer” as the most relevant? Would you suggest other categories? If so, please elaborate.


Answer to question 2.3: