TIA shares response to India’s IoT draft policy

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) today said it submitted its response to India government on its proposed policy on Internet of Things (IoT).

In 2012, an estimated 8.7 billion things were connected worldwide and projections show that with the new technological capabilities this could grow to 50 billion by the year 2020, generating global revenues of $8.9 trillion by 2020.

DeitY earlier said that the IoT will have an impact across industry sectors such as healthcare, transportation, and energy. India is uniquely positioned to take a leadership role in the IoT through its IT-enabled services sector, which exported $62.6 billion in 2012-2013.

The following is the highlight of the TIA comments and recommendations to the India government:

DeitY policy on IoT should respect competitive differentiation and business continuity, and to view this as a driver of solutions for the IoT. As ICT manufacturers and vendors work to meet the needs of their customers, better products and services are naturally more attractive in the market. In the area of data security for ICT products and services, worldwide spending on total information security spending is projected to reach approximately $76.9 billion U.S. in 2014.

They supply to ensure that performance goals of those organizations are reflected in the ICT purchased. The flexibility to innovate and the use of voluntary, consensus-based standards are both key enablers of this capability. We urge DeitY to take great care to avoid altering and instead, encourage this virtuous effect as it works to promote the IoT.

While it will be helpful for DeitY to encourage industry to enable interoperability and other key drivers of the IoT, we caution DeitY against taking a role that would have a government entity be in a position to determine the future design and development of any technology. To do otherwise would set a precedent of interfering with the core of the ICT sector, pulling apart the innovation, interoperability, and standards that are needed to advance the IoT.

Any approach taken by DeitY should emphasize international cooperation and heavy engagement with the private sector, both foreign and domestic, and the avoidance of country-specific standards. We believe that the most benefit will be felt for India consumers and companies, when trade in telecommunications equipment is open to all stakeholders so that international technology innovation and the global trading system of which India.

We urge DeitY to utilize the public-private partnership (PPP) model in its approach to the IoT, including the global ICT industry. As both the complexity and number of IoT applications grow, it will be critical that DeitY and other governments leverage and augment, or create where necessary, PPPs to accelerate the IoT.

TIA urges for DietY to prioritize education and awareness in its proposed IoT policy in partnership with industry stakeholders. The full potential of the IoT cannot be achieved without both business and consumer buy-in and adoption of these new services.

DeitY should revise its definition so that “phones, tablets, and PCs” are included in the definition of the IoT for the purposes of DeitY’s policy.

One of the five pillars proposed by DeitY’s approach to advancing the IoT is through the establishment of Demonstration Centres which would work to develop specific strategies across market segments impacted by the IoT’s growth. At least five of these Demonstration Centres would be established utilizing the PPP model for three years, and be 50 percent funded by DeitY.

In the Proposal, DeitY puts forward the following as possible project categories: Smart City, Smart Water, Smart Environment, Smart Health (remote), Smart Waste Management, Smart Agriculture, Smart Safety, and Smart Supply Chain & Logistics. TIA also encourages DeitY to include Smart Transportation and Smart Government Buildings/Installations as potential project categories, in light of their likely high return on investment for the Indian government and its people.

Using the PPP model, Demonstration Centres can help develop segment-specific strategies; of course, the ultimate goal must be IoT deployments that scale and enable interoperability horizontally across market segments. By including private stakeholders who are responsible for (already) billions of dollars invested globally, TIA agrees that useful strategies can be developed.

India ranked 4 in IDC Internet of Things (IoT) Index

We urge for DeitY to ensure that these Demonstration Centres are inclusive of and transparent to all affected stakeholders, and prioritize competitive- and technology-neutrality. TIA believes that by providing more detail on the proposed Demonstration Centres in the future and seeking further public input on their activities, DeitY will take positive steps towards investment by the global ICT industry, helping to ensure a maximum of return on DeitY’s investment.

The second of the five pillars proposed by DeitY’s approach to advancing the IoT is through the development of capacity building and incubation. DeitY proposes to create resource centers and test-beds to help develop the IoT with 100 percent funding of 15 institutions to meet academic and research objectives, as well as one or two National Centres of Excellence to support “start-ups, SMEs, students, and other innovators based on membership and support from design to prototype in productizing their ideas.”

DeitY Should Utilize its Standards Pillar to Encourage and Leverage Voluntary, Open, and Consensus-Based Standards.

A major driver of the IoT’s success will be interoperability of the global IoT ecosystem. Indeed, the development of open, voluntary, and consensus-based global standards that will pave the way for devices to seamlessly connect to each other and to the network in an interoperable manner is critical.

These standards can reduce costs because manufacturers and software developers can produce for multiple applications and multiple end uses allowing for the benefits of economies of scale. Most importantly, India’s active participation in international standards development activities and adoption of international standards will ensure that country-specific standards do not stand in the way of meeting the DeitY goal of assuming a 5 percent to 6 percent share of the global IoT industry.

Successful development of the IoT will be driven by a global – not national or regional – approach that is based on the development of open participation, voluntary, and consensus-driven standards. Numerous standardization efforts already in existence, as well as future efforts, to address global market needs, will define and contribute to the development of an interoperable worldwide IoT ecosystem.

DeitY proposes under its “R&D and Innovation” pillar to fund research and development in the IoT through the use of requests for proposals, as well as to create a new “International IoT Research Collaboration scheme (IIRC)” that would provide loans, grants, and equity for approved projects, noting that it plans to provide a more detailed program at a future date. We urge DeitY to put forward further detail on its planned activities under this pillar for further public stakeholder input before finalizing its plans moving forward.

DeitY proposes a number of incentives and engagements to promote the IoT, such as low/zero cost funding of eligible projects, the launch of a program through an existing or new society to promote exports of IoT products and services, the funding of participation in leading international global trade fairs to showcase Indian industrial capabilities in the IoT, the independent continuation of the Indian government’s Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) policy, and participation on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) World Forum on IoT Steering Committee.

TIA urges DeitY to avoid policies that would provide preference to domestically manufactured electronic goods that would represent an unprecedented interference in the development of the IoT. Such rules could reduce the productivity and competitiveness of numerous sectors’ industry members and their customers, potentially harming a large segment of the Indian economy, particularly India’s ICT manufacturing and services sector.

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