Commercial Wireless Sensor Networks-Technical and Business Issues


we study the opportunities of commercial exploitation of applications based on sensor networks. Such applications are quite famous nowadays in many different domains of everyday life (e.g., health monitoring, traffic monitoring). We introduce a new business model for sensor based services. Such business model involves entities like the mobile network operator and capitalizes on existing standards for application service providers (e.g., the OSA/Parlay standard). We also present the required technical framework that would facilitate the introduction and rapid adoption of the proposed business schemes.

In the last few years, we have noticed a significant evolution of the mobile telecommunication networks and services. Nowadays, 2.5G mobile networks are the standard in most developed countries, whereas the penetration of 3G networks is steadily increasing (although slower than expected). This evolution was followed by an evolution of the provided services. New and innovative data services have shown up, which enhance the application environment of the end users. Probably the most promising of them are Location Based Services (LBS). LBS adapt the content provided to the users according to their physical location. During these years, we have also witnessed an increasing interest of the research community in the wireless sensor networks (WSN) [3]. Such networks are the descendants of Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and interconnect sensor nodes in order to provide a flexible topology for the dissemination of the sensed contextual information (e.g., temperature, motion, vibration). Since their invention, the WSNs have been mainly used in specific application domains such as habitat monitoring [4] (animal tracking, microclimate studies) and military surveillance applications.
By observing the above evolutions, one can predict that the ubiquitous environment of the future will comprise
publicly and privately deployed sensor networks, which will enable the deployment of “smart services”, accessible
through advanced infrastructures (e.g., the capability-rich 3G mobile networks or open services gateways). We
strongly believe that this is a one-way scenario, judging from:
• the current user demand for context-aware services [10],
• the mobile market economics (market players seek for innovation through new services and killer
applications) and,
• the vision for pervasive environments, which are highly interactive and responsive [5] (e.g., smart spaces,
intelligent classrooms).
In the following sections we discuss how such a Sensor-Based Services (SBS) model, which combines (mobile)
telecommunication technologies and WSNs, can be realized. In Section 2, we study the proposed Sensor Based
Services (SBS) provisioning system. In Section 3, we study technical issues related to the proposed network
architecture. In Section 4, we will study the economic aspects (revenue flows) of this new service model. Our

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