Internet of Things
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve read about what the Internet of Things (IOT) is and how it can help your business. It’s a big and complex topic though, so I’m sure you have more questions. I hope to address them in this blog – but if I haven’t, head over to our dedicated Internet of Things page for more information.

Are our IoT solutions secure? 

If you want to connect devices to the internet, you may wonder if they are secure and if you have protocols in place to prevent hackers from taking them over. When your IoT projects get bigger and more complex, your IT teams might need extra help with IoT security.

At Vodafone, we’ve always taken our customers’ security concerns seriously. Find out more in our white paper about Securing the Internet of Things.

Security is our priority with everything we do in our IoT platform and all our services. It’s deeply embedded in all areas of our business. After all, a system is only as strong as its weakest point.

As we own the infrastructure for our connectivity, we have seamless security. Our resilient and secure global networks and data centres also provide strong data protection.

Monitoring is a vital part of the overall IoT environment, improving your ability to spot any problems and act before damage is done. We’re continually testing for end-to-end security and improving our technology, process and detection capabilities.

“76% of businesses say that IoT security should be treated as an end-to-end solution, and 91% say it’s important for them to work with an end-to-end solution provider for IoT.”

Will the Internet of Things affect sustainability?

The short answer is yes. IoT has the power to affect sustainability for the better. At Vodafone, some of the ways we’re using IoT to improve sustainability include: 

  • Reducing energy usage in our buildings and base stations by sensing occupancy and turning off the heating and lights when no one is around.

  • Tracking our delivery drivers to make sure that they are driving safely and in a way that protects the environment.

  • We’re also helping other businesses in several sectors to harness IoT for sustainability. For example, in logistics, we work with Microlise’s fleet providing IoT sensors to track vehicle movements. Analysing the data can reveal ways to improve fuel economy, saving money for the firm and reducing carbon emissions.

What is an IoT platform, and do I need one?

Think of an IoT platform as the plumbing, connecting the various parts of a system. The system includes hardware like sensors and devices and software to analyse the data and drive actions or alerts. It also has the connectivity to relay data and a user interface like an app or web-based dashboard.

An IoT platform also includes software that provides security and authentication for users. It allows data to flow and devices to function.

It’s important to choose your IoT platform wisely. Choose one that:

  • Offers high-traffic performance and platform availability

  • Gives security at every level – from devices in the field to movement of data through the network

  • Makes integration with third-party applications like analytics platforms easy

What’s the difference between the Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine (M2M)?

M2M connects machines to machines. While M2M and IoT both involve devices communicating with each other, M2M is for smaller, more isolated sensor systems. IoT combines several systems. It allows for new applications and ways to manage and analyse devices and things on a larger and cheaper scale.

What is Narrowband IoT? 

Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) is a set of protocols that only allows for small amounts of data – 100s of kilobytes. This is much less than the gigabytes of data we associate with 4G and 5G, but it makes use of the mobile spectrum more efficiently.

This essentially means that the signal goes farther and connects more devices than low-power WAN tech. It’s either because it was uneconomic to do so or because you just couldn’t get a signal.

NB-IoT is inherently more secure, faster, performs better and penetrates buildings more easily.

Three Narrowband IoT applications

  • Fridges: Sensors on retail fridges check temperature to make sure products are fresh and good quality. They can also measure the weight in the fridge and inform suppliers if there’s an opportunity to sell more stock to the retailer.

  • Vehicles: Vehicles’ sensors track where drivers are and if they’re driving safely. Sensors track goods in transit in real-time and notify owners if they go missing or are stolen, so goods can be retrieved without great expense.

  • Health and wellbeing: Home sensors collect data on exercise and patient wellbeing, like blood sugar and pressure, without invading people’s privacy. These sensors also ensure all home objects are in their right place and haven’t fallen - possibly causing injury.

Can IoT devices connect without the internet?

Based on how IoT devices communicate with one another, it’s clear they’ll need to be connected to the internet in some form to work. That doesn’t mean though that they always must be connected to a computer with a cable.

In fact, IoT devices can connect in a whole variety of means. You can connect over WiFi or the phone network. Vodafone's Smart Solutions have built-in SIMs that connect to the internet in the same way your mobile phone does. This gives you connectivity wherever there's a phone signal.

Why choose Vodafone for IoT?

I might sound a little bit biased, but I really do think Vodafone has a strong case to make for being the best IoT partner.

We’re one of the few providers who operate globally, with a dedicated IoT business and Smart Solutions that you can read about online and buy off-the shelf.

We’re international leaders in 2023’s Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Managed IoT Connectivity Services, worldwide.

We’ve also invested more than any other telco provider in 5G bandwidth. This means when our new 5G-enabled IoT solutions are available to buy, customers can expect the most reliable and far-reaching network in the UK.

Why Vodafone Business

Best Network for Business*

Get free business advice from V-Hub, facilitate collaboration with a team working package and take advantage of our award-winning network.

So much more than mobile

We’ll help you get up to speed with Business Broadband and transform your business with the Internet of Things.

Leading industry expertise

With decades of experience working in both the private and public sectors, we can help you tackle your industry challenges.

More IoT solutions

See how we can help transform your business.

Internet of Things insights 

All you need to know about IoT

Read how IoT transforms communication – from household appliances to sophisticated industrial tools.

Read more

How can IoT help your business?

Understand how IoT can make exciting things happen for your business.

Read more

Tech explained: The Internet of Things

Find out why the Internet of Things should be at the top of your to-do-list.

Read More

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