Russian government leads consortium for IoT standardisation

Russian government leads consortium for IoT standardisation

The Russian government has stepped in to help improve IoT standardisation.

The Russian government’s Internet start-up fund, FRII, has joined forces with tech giants GS Group and mobile operators Megafon, MTS, and VimpelCom to launch a national Internet of Things (IoT) consortium.

FRII, which is the Russian acronym for the Internet Initiatives Development Fund, was launched back in 2013 by the government and offers substantial investment and support to young startups in the industry. In 2014, the fund increased its coverage to include emerging sectors such as wearable devices and the IoT.

The new consortium will begin working towards establishing a single, open standard of data exchange for a network of connected devices, something which does not yet exist on the market. “Seeking and agreeing on such a standard will enable the connection of different industries and accelerate the diffusion of IoT in Russia,” an FRII representative was quoted as saying by East-West Digital News.

There are currently over 10 Russian startups developing technologies for IoT data exchange. The overarching plan is for the consortium to examine their outcomes and identify the groundwork required, both of which will form the basis of the IoT standardisation across protocol and data exchange.

Mobile operator Tele2 has expressed a desire to enter the consortium further down the line, according to Russian news agency TASS.

Russia’s race for IoT standardisation

TASS included more detail on the consortium’s plan. The aim is the development of a single protected protocol of data transmission – something that will address the critical infrastructure issues impacting many governmental and military complexes.

The FRII explained that there are around 300 solutions using IoT protocols and technologies in Russia. However, despite the array of options, most have their flaws. These range from only solving very specific issues to being unsuitable for scaling, a vulnerability to cyber-attacks, and general incompatibility with other common protocols, TASS wrote.

Julia Dorokhin, from consortium member MegaFon, said, “The number of devices that need access to the Internet, is growing rapidly in this regard, we are working on all possible options in order to provide our customers with quality communication services”.

According to J’son & Partners Consulting, in 2018 the number of connected devices in Russia could be as high as 32.55 million, double the figure just three years earlier in 2015. This growth is expected to ensure the development of IoT-services, along with big leaps forward in sectors from smart homes, to transportation, trade, financial services, and industry.