Simply put - Real-Time Economy in IoT

IoT has had the biggest impact in the areas where it has enabled to change the business model from “fixed price, one size fits all” to “based on real-time data”. IoT can give life to many new business models this way. Things that were previously bought and owned are now used as a service and charged according to actual use. 

Toomas Kärner IoT Area Manager in Telia elaborates on one of the topics we wait you to disrupt with us - get inspired!


To quote e-Estonia.com: “RTE (Real-Time Economy) boosts productivity, its core objective is to minimize latency and reduce physical and labor costs.” More on their perspective

A good example from Estonia is the Taxify app which enables customers to order the taxis closest to them, pre-enter the end destination and pay via the same app when the ride is over. The next step will be direct reporting to the tax board so that the information is already in the system when the drivers go to declare their taxes. 

How Not to Do IoT

There are two ways to tackle businesses in IoT. A positive outcome is expected when the connectivity gives a product a new and valuable feature. The best case scenario in IoT is that such connectivity is opened up in a way that allows it be used for more than the initial manufacturer intended, thus engaging the creativeness and imagination of a much wider group of people in developing products.

The worst case you can see in the IoT field is that the connectivity is just slapped on a product in order to be part of the hype. This is often done regardless of security risks and technical issues and without a clear understanding of what the actual value should be. While you might be successful in the short run and hope to exit ASAP, the value created by simply connecting one device to the Internet is minor and these businesses typically cannot be scaled. Although connected TVs are trending heavily and big manufactures are pushing them on market, does a typical remote control really allow us to browse the web comfortably in terms of user experience? The customers’ reply is a clear “No” . Therefore, before simply plugging a device into the Internet, do think of the customer and whether there is a real benefit that is designed into a solution that is attractive for the users. 

What would Telia look for in an IoT startup?

Telia is looking for ambition and a novel way for a startup to use IoT to solve a real problem for customers. Ambition is important to push through the long grind of the road to success. Solving a real problem gives the startup sustainable growth potential. 

Why should a startup collaborate with Telia? 

We are truly openly looking for collaboration and discussion partners, so having a dedicated person in the area serves as a solid launchpad. Secondly, in Estonia, Telia Estonia has the biggest “I” when it comes to IoT, giving it a unique position to roll out anything that uses a network. So the barrier to market is much lower when working together now and also in the future when the 5G becomes commercially available. Last but not least, we have years of experience in testing different solutions and launching them on rather large markets, so by sharing our local and group level know-how, you have a chance to succeed much faster and roll out not only in Estonia but also in Scandinavia and the Baltics.  

3 IoT startups that have caught my attention lately: 

ULO. A perfect example of how to combine technology into human life in a cute way. €1.6M funding instead of €0.2M pledged tells that customers like when things are done in a more humane way. 

If This Then That. So far the best environment to interconnect all IoT products and make them work together. Currently connects 306 different products or ecosystems (from Twitter to BMW cars). 

Electron by Spark.io.an explosion enabler for IoT by giving a simple tool to every developer of an IoT product to connect it up with the the whole world as the coverage area. Developers really “dig it”, having thrown in approx. $580k in support while only $30k was asked.



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