BT, Cisco Join Wireless IoT Forum As Founding Members

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Wireless IoT Forum aims to reduce fragmentation and promote open standards for wireless M2M technology

BT, Cisco and Accenture have been named among the founding board members of the Wireless IoT Forum, a non-profit organisation promoting consistent, open standards for wireless networking technologies powering the Internet of things (IoT).

The new forum’s mandate is to eliminate fragmentation, campaign for supportive regulation and develop a minimal set of standards for licence and licence-exempt wireless technologies and promote these to vendors, operators and end-users.

“The IoT market is gathering significant momentum around the globe, with new technologies and use cases being announced daily,” said William Webb, CEO, Wireless IoT Forum. “However, the risk presented by fragmentation remains very real. Without widely-agreed open standards we risk seeing pockets of proprietary technology developing independently, preventing the benefits of mass-market scale.

Wireless IoT Forum

networks“We are delighted today to be announcing our inaugural membership and to begin work to drive towards a collective view on the right way to deliver widespread IoT services.”

Arkessa, Telensa and WSN are the other founding board members and the forum is actively searching for other stakeholders, with its first meeting held last month. Potential members could include infrastructure providers, semiconductor and radio technology manufacturers, and developers creating IoT applications.

“As the success of the GSM standard in the mobile world showed, working to open industry standards is critical to creating the necessary situation for mass market success,” added Mark Harrop, director of business development at BT’s mobile programme. “By aligning the complete value chain in defining and promoting these standards the Wireless IoT Forum is ideally suited to make the Internet of Things a success.”

The UK Government and Ofcom are keen to make the UK a “hotbed” of IoT development support for startups and regulatory interventions.

Ofcom says that there are already more than 40 million devices connected via the IoT in the UK alone, and this figure is forecast to grow more than eight-fold by 2022, with hundreds of millions of devices carrying out more than a billion daily data transactions.

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