Indian telcos want a share of the growing IoT business

The Internet of Things (IoT) seems to be the flavor of the month as far as Indian service providers' enterprise offerings are concerned.

Both Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel launched IoT platforms earlier this week, while Reliance Jio is believed to be currently testing its IoT services.

Airtel launched Airtel IoT, a 5G-ready IoT platform. The company has one of the largest bases of enterprise subscribers, and it will be looking to leverage this to push its IoT offerings.

Parent company Bharti Enterprises has recently entered into an agreement with Dixon Technologies to manufacture several products, including IoT devices.

Starter's orders

Vodafone Idea was one of the firsts telcos to start focusing on the IoT. With the launch of the new platform, it plans to concentrate on automotive, logistics, infrastructure and utility industry verticals.

The company is looking at a collaborative model, and has already formed alliances with a few firms. It would also be drawing on lessons learned in global markets to gain a greater market share.

"The telco will adopt a consulting-led engagement to support businesses in identifying their needs, design and develop the right IoT solution and implementation," says the press note issued by the company. Vodafone Idea will also provide customized IoT solutions to enterprises.

India's largest service provider, Jio, is in talks with OEMs to launch its IoT services, according to media reports.

Snowball effect

A recent study by Zinnov, a management and strategy consulting firm, says that India had around 200-250 million connected devices by the end of 2019, and predicts that this number will touch 2 billion by 2021.

There has been a massive growth in IoT adoption in the last three years. Manufacturing, automotive and transportation, and energy and utilities are the top three verticals driving adoption, says the report.

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With the upcoming launch of 5G and focus on edge computing, Indian telcos stand to provide high-end and high-margin IoT services to enterprises.

However, this demands a deep understanding of the different industry verticals. The current focus on IoT is possibly part of a long-term strategy to gain insights and develop high-end use cases for different segments.

— Gagandeep Kaur, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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