July 17, 2015
The latest edition of ITU’s report on global ICT regulatory developments, Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2015, reveals a fast-evolving ICT landscape, as devices and services proliferate, broadband connectivity becomes increasingly pervasive, and the hyper-connected world of the ‘Internet of Everything’ starts to become a reality.
The report provides a host of data and analysis that examines the so-called ‘fourth-generation’ ICT regulation.
Characterized by greater complexity and cross-sectoral implications, fourth-generation regulation attempts to come to grips with the enormous social and economic disruption ICTs are bringing in their wake, ITU said. The report recommends flexible, light-touch regulation, and recognition of the rights of both businesses and consumers in defining new frameworks for an emerging global digital environment.
“There are many ways in which ICTs can make the world a better place,” said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General. “In a digital world, creating the conditions for a data-driven economy to flourish is a must, so getting the regulatory environment right is absolutely vital.”
ITU has developed the ICT Regulatory Tracker, a new evidence-based analytical tool to help pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of regulatory interventions.
The report states that future network traffic will increasingly be driven by machine-to-machine (M2M) traffic generated by billions of connected devices, products and sensors, with M2M communications over mobile cellular networks already emerging as the fastest-growing ICT service in terms of traffic.
In total, one billion different kinds of wireless IoT devices are expected to be shipped in 2015, up 60% from 2014 figures to reach a predicted installed base of 2.8 billion connected devices by end 2015. Wearable devices are estimated to have reached 109 million by the beginning of 2015.
The report is predicting that upwards of 25 billion networked devices will be connected by 2020, driven largely by consumer-connected entities (including businesses, hospitals, local authorities and other organizations and institutions) and followed by manufacturing, utilities and transportation. In terms of revenues, the market for IoT is expected to grow to US$1.7 trillion by 2019 to become the largest device market worldwide.