Malcolm Briffa, Chief Officer Business & IoT at Melita Limited, shares his insights into how this technology is influencing so many aspects of the way we live and work, providing life-changing solutions for everyday challenges.

The Internet of Things, or IoT, may not be such a familiar term for many, but whether we realise it or not, we are constantly interacting with, depending on and benefitting from, this technology that can transform everything into a smarter device.

Robot vacuums, smart TVs, wearable devices, smart homes and smart parking solutions are all internet-connected devices that have quietly become embedded in every aspect of our lives.

IoT is a broad term referring to internet-connected devices that communicate with one another, and that’s just for starters. Over the past few years, the technology has become increasingly sophisticated and with artificial intelligence (AI) gaining more traction, IoT devices will become more efficient and intelligent.

“IoT embodies the interconnection of things — physical objects embedded with sensors enable us to interact with the devices, or make more intelligent decisions and actions,” Malcolm Briffa says.

The technology is constantly evolving and Melita has a dedicated team exclusively focusing on international IoT deployment, through

Malcolm Briffa, Chief Officer Business & IoT at Melita Limited.Malcolm Briffa, Chief Officer Business & IoT at Melita Limited.

Briffa explains that IoT solutions for businesses can reduce costs, optimise workflows, enhance performance, and streamline operations. However, these devices rely on consistent power, reliable internet connectivity to function properly. This is why over the past years Melita has deployed new network technologies such as Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), LTE-M and LoRaWAN in Malta and internationally.

“IoT can help businesses increase their efficiency through real-time monitoring and management, reducing machine downtime and predicting maintenance requirements, among others. This will also help save costs in cases where for example, failures in equipment are picked up earlier and repaired before causing further damage,” Briffa added.

Apart from the benefits IoT brings to supply chain management, there are also many sectors where this technology is promoting innovation and efficiency, such as fleet management. Companies can use IoT to manage their vehicle fleet through real-time tracking. This avoids traffic congestion and optimises route planning, cutting costs, reducing lost hours in traffic and increasing driver wellbeing.

Governments and municipalities are also using IoT, for example to raise an alert when rivers or drainage systems risk overflow, helping prevent floods or minimise their impact. The technology is also used in other health and safety aspects, such as monitoring carbon dioxide levels in classrooms.

Healthcare is an area that is benefiting tremendously from IoT, allowing patients to be monitored remotely to ensure a swifter remedy if, for example an old person falls, while enabling healthcare providers to extend their reach outside the traditional clinical setting. This is achieved through a vast range of solutions. It has taken the form of smart medical devices that provide real-time health monitoring, such as heart rate and breathing, leading to better patient treatment, while it can also take the form of a robot moving up and down a nursing home corridor throughout the night.

And it's not just human health that can benefit from IoT. Melita is collaborating on projects that provide famers with precise data to optimise crop yield, conserve resources, monitor their livestock’s location, automate feeds, detect ammonia levels in the farm’s atmosphere, and track their animals’ health and well-being.

Another area where Melita is making inroads is in enabling the transformation of cities into more sustainable and efficient urban environments through smart infrastructure, utility meters, waste management, energy usage optimisation, and smart parking facilities. Other aspects Melita is working on include the digital management of electric vehicle charging stations to make them more accessible and efficient through SIM connectivity.

The IoT market is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, adding value to many sectors and Melita, through its ecosystem of specialised IoT solutions partners, is geared to help business navigate this complex realm.

“We work with great partners around the world, serving as their worldwide connectivity provider to enable holistic solutions for clients,” Briffa said.

As a global IoT connectivity provider, Melita covers over 170 countries and collaborates with more than 285 roaming partners, offering multiple connectivity options per country and always connecting to the strongest signal in the area.

With over 30 years of telecom sector experience and offices in Malta, Germany, and Sweden, Melita is bringing extensive expertise to the field, helping local and global partners in scaling internationally and simplifying the complexity of IoT solutions.

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