What’s New in Global IoT Services So Far in 2021?

GlobalData published its latest Competitive Landscape report on IIoT Services in May 2021. In analyzing the large number of new capabilities and alliances that were announced by the top mobile operators, a number of issues are clear:

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

• While COVID-19 may have dampened demand early on for IoT solutions, in late 2020 and early 2021 the market came roaring back.

• Market expansion is not limited to COVID-related projects, and announcements are for a wide-ranging set of new IoT offerings that may represent projects for which there was pent-up demand during the pandemic.

• These new initiatives have been energized in part by related capabilities such as private networks, edge computing, and 5G rollouts.

The following list is a super-set of announcements from the GlobalData report showcasing more of the primary announcements that operators in the U.S. and Europe have made over the past six months; they imply solid momentum for IoT.


May 2021: Through an offering named Asset Alert, AT&T extended its workplace safety managed cloud offerings beyond the hospitality market to new vertical markets including retail, government, and manufacturing.

April 2021: In its Q1 2021 earnings call, AT&T disclosed that Connected Device net additions were 2.5 million, 1.2 million of which were attributable to wholesale connected cars. Total IoT connections at the end of Q1 reached 83.3 million.

March 2021: AT&T announced that in Q4 2020, it connected more than 4 million new IoT devices – or one device every 1.5 seconds. It was the largest number added to its IoT network in any quarter in its history; in 2020, AT&T connected nearly 15 million new IoT devices for a total of 80 million connected devices at end of year.

March 2021: AT&T is bringing cellular connectivity to Maserati vehicles in the U.S. and Canada, through a new multi-year agreement enabling the next-generation Maserati Connect services for the luxury brand.

February 2021: AT&T Technology for Healthcare is playing a role in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine, including location tracking, fleet management, medicine temperature monitoring, and patient screening.


April 2021: T-Systems announced a partnership with GFT to develop IIoT solutions for the manufacturing sector, which analyze big data for machines, production, and planning. T-Systems will contribute edge computing and AI capabilities from the cloud.

April 2021: Deutsche Telekom announced the launch of a low-priced IoT tariff in its Business Smart Connect portfolio targeted at start-ups, newcomers and small companies.

March 2021: Deutsche Telekom announced a partnership with Envision to deliver smart charging solutions for electric vehicles in Germany.

February 2021: Deutsche Telekom launched Magenta Industrial Security to shield control systems from hackers, integrating cyber defense for IT, plant, and machinery.

February 2021: T-Systems partnered with Ericsson to launch a worldwide initiative to integrate Edge Computing from T-Systems with Campus Network solutions from Ericsson.


April 2021: Orange Business Services partnered with Agdatahub and SUEZ to form an agri-environmental-focused collaboration to enable the digital transformation of agricultural industries.

March 2021: Orange Business Services launched a 5G network for companies in the port of Le Havre to enable new digital projects (IoT, AI, and deep learning) and smart port innovations.

February 2021: Orange Business Services/Orange Egypt were selected as prime contractors for the development of Egypt’s New Administrative Capital, a new smart city designed to be the country’s new administrative and financial capital.

February 2021: Orange Business Services announced the opening of nine Orange 5G Labs to collaborate/co-innovate with enterprises to better to understand the opportunities, value and utility of 5G.


June 2021: Telefónica Tech Ventures invested in Israeli start-up Monogoto’s private IoT networks. It provides secure cloud-based private LTE/5G networks as a service including local PoPs for maximum performance and data privacy.

May 2021: Telefónica, in partnership with Nokia, Ineco, Stellantis, CTAG, and SICE, provided sensors and 5G coverage to the Cereixal tunnel, which can send information to drivers on weather conditions, road work, warnings of slow and emergency vehicles, congestion, accidents, obstacles, presence of pedestrians, oncoming vehicles, and sudden braking.

May 2021: Telefónica Tech and Siemens partnered on new combined solutions for smart buildings in Spain.

May 2021: Telefónica Tech partnered with Microsoft to provide private 5G connectivity and on-premises edge computing for industrial customers.

March 2021: Telefónica Tech partnered with Fibocom and aitos.io to develop a 5G Blockchain IoT module to record information gathered by devices connected to blockchain networks.

February 2021: Telefónica launched a new cloud-native IoT connectivity service with Mavenir Packet Core and AWS.


April 2021: Verizon announced it would provide a 5G Testbed for GE Research to explore use cases in the energy, healthcare, and aviation verticals.

April 2021: Verizon announced that its Hyper Precise Location (HPL) service was available in more than 100 U.S. markets, enabling real-time kinematics and enhancing location-based accuracy from meters to centimeters.

April 2021: Verizon’s Italian fleet management operations in Italy were rebranded from Visirun to Verizon Connect for global consistency.

April 2021: Verizon Business launched private MEC for U.S. enterprise customers on a platform that is fully integrated with AWS cloud services.

April 2021: Verizon signed its first European Private 5G deal with Associated British Ports.

February 2021: Verizon partnered with Deloitte to offer a retail industry digital platform using 5G and MEC to exploit in-store data using near-real-time analytics.

February 2021: Verizon announced it was working with Zyter, a digital health and IoT enablement platform, to address the sports and entertainment venue market.


COVID-19: Vodafone noted it has been using IoT throughout the pandemic for rapid COVID testing, remote patient monitoring, and heat detection cameras to protect employees.

March 2021: Vodafone is using IoT to help fight climate change by aiming for ‘net zero’ carbon emissions; more than one-third of Vodafone’s 120 million IoT connections will help customers reduce carbon emissions.

February 2021: Vodafone announced that it tested new satellite-based precision positioning tech with its IoT platform to locate vehicles, drones, and cargo.

January 2021: Vodafone, in partnership with sees.ai and TerraDrone, is developing computer vision technology that will enable a drone to fly independently. It is also working to unlock use of 4G LTE networks for drone command and control communications.

January 2021: Vodafone, along with a consortium of 16 organizations, won funding to develop and test a remotely operated drone system for industrial and urban environments.

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