Global Industrial IoT Services Update: What New Capabilities Were Launched by Operators Over the Last Six Months?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • GlobalData has completed its profile updates on IoT services for AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, Orange Business Services, and Tata Communications, along with a Competitive Landscape Assessment.
  • IoT services are viewed as a major growth market by these operators, with both 5G and LPWANs providing new opportunities, global alliances extending footprints, and new services and end-to-end vertical solutions providing value to enterprises.

Every six months, GlobalData updates a set of global industrial IoT services profiles for Tier 1 mobile operators headquartered in the U.S., Europe, and – starting this year – the APAC region. The complete report, which includes links to the profiles as well as a discussion and analysis of trends and new offerings in the market, can be found here.

What’s New?

Over the last six months, all Tier 1 mobile operators have added capabilities. Among U.S. operators, AT&T is teaming up with Vodafone Business to provide bilateral NB-IoT roaming across the U.S. and Europe; Verizon and SAP are co-developing IoT/analytics solutions, leveraging SAP IoT, edge services, analytics, and data management capabilities; Verizon and Corning are co-innovating with 5G to create a factory of the future; and to serve private networks, Sprint is providing an Ericsson box with a pre-integrated Curiosity core enabling enterprises to manage IoT applications that have critical requirements, such as low latency or local breakout, at the edge.

In Europe, Vodafone and America Movil inked an alliance for reciprocal roaming in 16 markets in Latin America; Vodafone also launched App Invent, an application-as-a-service platform to help smaller companies easily develop and deploy IoT applications. Orange Business Services signed a cooperation agreement with Sberbank Telecom for joint development of smart city projects; and Orange, AT&T, KPN, and Swisscom activated LTE-M roaming across North America and Europe. Telefonica launched a new IoT Cybersecurity Unit and announced a successful pilot with drones based on IoT solutions for early fire detection. Telefonica is also partnering with ARAD on a new intelligent solution based on NB-IoT and CAT-M1 technologies for measuring water consumption. Deutsche Telekom announced new tariffs for IoT including a starter rate and prepaid SIM cards. DT and Software AG have a new strategic partnership with which DT will expand its Cloud of Things offering using Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT platform. DT also launched its NB-IoT network in Germany and five other European countries.

In Asia-Pacific, a region from which GlobalData will add more IoT services competitors in the next set of updates, Tata Communication partnered with Thales to develop a secure connectivity solution for IoT devices; is collaborating with Kerlink, an IoT infrastructure and VAS provider based in France, to offer LoRa-based IoT solutions in India; and launched IoT Marketplace in India to drive the domestic ecosystem and adoption in the country.

How Do Service Providers Stack Up?

For this period, GlobalData ranked AT&T and Vodafone as ‘leaders’ and Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, and Verizon as ‘very strong’ players within the global IIoT services market. Tata Communications was ranked as ‘strong.’ Regional players such as KPN, Telenor, and Telstra still have strength in their home territories, but are less able to satisfy the needs of truly global MNCs. Sprint and T-Mobile are enhancing their capabilities, but only time will tell what their combined IoT strategy will be assuming the merger gets final approvals. Sprint in particular is touting the capabilities of its Curiosity IoT platform. MVNOs such as Kore Wireless, Transatel, Cubic Telecom, Aeris, and Numerex (now part of Sierra Wireless) also serve the market with aggregated connectivity and are increasingly going up the stack with their own platforms and some level of vertical specialization. Several equipment vendor stalwarts such as Nokia and Sierra Wireless have become IoT MVNOs with their own global connectivity platforms. In the U.S., other entrants such as U.S. Cellular, Cox Business, and Comcast now offer IIoT services. Meanwhile, IT service providers such as IBM, DXC, Accenture, and Capgemini and SIs such as Tech Mahindra are narrowing the opportunity for value-added service revenues among telecom operators by offering their own platforms, along with consulting, integration, and analytics.

While enterprises may find value from all of these offerings, they face a daunting decision about which partners to go to for IoT solutions. Their primary mobile operator is a good place to start, as it will offer not only connectivity, but also an array of services intended to simplify the process of designing, deploying, and managing IoT applications that will in turn provide cost savings, operational streamlining, and even new products, services, and revenues for their businesses.

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