What Indian telecoms can learn from IoT investment in US

SK Telecom IoT project for eel farm in Korea
Indian telecom network operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications and Vodafone can learn from Internet of Things (IoT) investments announced by AT&T and Verizon in the U.S.

When both AT&T and Verizon have made several announcements in the recent months to boost of their IoT revenue, main Indian telecom network operators are doing nothing in the IoT space. Reliance Communications recently tied with Gemalto for IoT business. Tata Communications aims to be big in the IoT market in India.

US telecom network operators AT&T and Verizon are ahead of two small rivals Sprint and T-Mobile in terms of their IoT projects.


IT consulting firm Deloitte recently joined hands with AT&T to accelerate the adoption of smart city technology across U.S. cities.

“The combination of AT&T’s mobility and cloud networking solutions seamlessly enable almost every aspect of the smart city vision,” said John Levis, principal, technology, media and telecommunications practice, Deloitte Consulting.

Deloitte is supporting cities on the U.S. – Mexican border; Prague, Barcelona and Valencia in Europe; Buenos Aires in South America and several in Asia.

“Deloitte’s leadership in smart city deployments helps us accelerate the rate of change in communities across the U.S.,” said Mike Zeto, general manager of Smart Cities, AT&T IoT Solutions.

Recently, AT&T created a new report to share how businesses can utilize the IoT.

“Businesses can harness data safely and more securely from the IoT. They can predict, learn and make near real-time decisions – and that can create a distinct competitive advantage,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Internet of Things Solutions, AT&T Mobility.

AT&T is introducing a new family of LTE modules to meet the needs of a range of IoT applications – to simplify and lower the cost of IoT device designs globally and improve device performance. AT&T worked with Wistron NeWeb (WNC), a module and device manufacturer, to design the new LTE modules.


Telecom network vendor Ericsson announced joint activities with Verizon for the development and deployment of cellular low-power wide-area (LPWA) networking for IoT applications.

“Verizon’s LTE network supports the acceleration of IoT applications. Ericsson’s new software will enable us to expand our coverage of low-cost IoT devices while supporting years of battery life,” said Adam Koeppe, vice president, Network Technology and Planning, Verizon.

Ericsson’s software called Networks Software 17A addresses IoT devices and the diversity of their connectivity needs. The software includes key features enabling cellular networks to support Smart Cities, Smart Metering, and Smart Agriculture.

Ericsson and Verizon will continue joint trials in 2016, focused on live network testing of IoT use case scenarios.

IoT use cases

The image shows SK Telecom’s IoT project for eel farm in Korea.

Alerting commuters on their mobile phone that their normal route home is delayed, reducing energy use in public buildings with sensing technologies, and networking homebound elderly to medical professionals are a few of the ways IoT technology is helping communities.

The IoT investment by several telecoms is a reflection of several research reports on connected devices and IoT.

50 billion “things” — from sensors in cars and traffic lights to utility meters and household appliances — will share data over the Internet by 2020.

AT&T added more than 25 million connected devices on the network as of Q3 2015. AT&T added 1.6 million devices in Q3 2015 alone.

Global connections in the automotive sector will grow from 125 million in 2014 to 1.2 billion in 2024 with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23 percent, Machina Research predicts.

AT&T says it expects more than 10 million connected cars to be connected on its network by the end of 2017.

The number of active fleet management systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets in North America was 4.7 million in Q4 2014, according to analyst firm Berg Insight.

B&P Enterprises saved $86,000 annually on insurance and slashed Department of Transportation violations by 80 percent — working with AT&T.

AT&T is working with Mueller Water Products and IBM to provide solutions that can help detect leaks in water mains with IoT technology.

Total annual sales of U.S. utilities are about $370 billion. More than 70 percent of the U.S. electrical transmission system is over 25 years old and unpaid bills cost utilities $1 billion annually. AT&T is working with companies to develop IoT smart energy solutions to become more efficient.

AT&T is powering Maersk to track and monitor the condition of over 280,000 connected refrigerated shipping containers with perishable goods. Through AT&T Cargo View with Flight Safe, customers can monitor freight for temperature, humidity, pressure, shock and vibration from takeoff to landing.

Global IoT market will nearly triple to $1.7 trillion by 20206. IDC expects the IoT to grow at a CAGR of 19.2 percent through 2020.

IoT will lead the U.S. consumer technology industry to $287 billion in retail revenues in 2016, said the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

CTA expects the smart home technology category – including smart thermostats, smart smoke and CO2 detectors, IP/Wi-Fi cameras, smart locks, smart home systems, and smart switches, dimmers and outlets – to reach 8.9 million units sold in 2016 (+21 percent), with $1.2 billion in revenue.

Indian telecoms need to gear up for more investment to support the productivity demands of local enterprises. IoT will be a boom for Indian telecoms to look for additional revenues. The ongoing 4G investment will trigger the launch of IoT services.

Baburajan K
[email protected]