After creating a network that interconnects the world’s organisations and later its people, the internet is expanding further still to interconnect all manner of object. We are entering an era where a growing number of objects outfitted with sensors, and in some cases processing capabilities, will be able to exchange information with their environment and so interact within complex systems: this is what is referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). The traditional internet’s expansion to objects goes hand in hand with the development of new connectivity solutions, notably mobile ones, and the technological eruptions that are the cloud and big data.

A wide variety of economic sectors could benefit from the growth ushered in by the Internet of Things: the IoT will drive structural changes in industries as wide ranging as energy, transportation, automotive, agriculture, insurance and health.

In the consumer market, after smart watches and bracelets, the revolution is spreading to household equipment, appliances and a plethora of everyday objects, from shoes to cars, by way of heating, coffee-makers and toothbrushes.

This revolution is still in its infancy: spending tied to the Internet of Things is now increasing at three times the rate of ICT market spending as a whole. In 2020, some forecast that 15% of objects, or 50 billion objects connected to the internet, will generate a quarter of all global data, and represent a market of $7,000 billion.

In France, some estimates predict 2 billion connected objects in existence five years from now, or 40 objects per person. This is therefore a considerable opportunity for the French and the European economy, with expectations of substantial productivity gains in every sector – from the production to the supply of services – and innovations that benefit everybody.

For Arcep, as the country’s electronic communications regulator it is vital to play the role of enabler, to lay the groundwork and help unleash the full potential of this revolution.

50 billion connected objects
5 billion connected people
1 billion connected places