- IoT services portfolios from mobile operators are expanding as enablers such as edge computing, 5G, and even COVID-19 related requirements for detection and amelioration provide momentum for new deployments and use cases.
- GlobalData highlights below a number of recent announcements from leading operators regarding their edge alliances, application enablement and analytics enhancements, and vertical solutions.
Over the past six months, all Tier 1 mobile operators have added new capabilities or alliances, especially in the areas of multi-access edge computing, application enablement and analytics, and vertical solutions. The list below highlights some of the most relevant recent announcements impacting the IoT services portfolios of AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Orange Business Services, Tata, Telstra, Telefonica, Verizon, and Vodafone. For detailed analysis of these operators’ portfolios, see the latest “Global Industrial IoT Services: Competitive Landscape Assessment.”
- AT&T and IBM announced an expansion of their strategic partnership to include the use of 5G wireless networking and edge computing.
- Telefónica Germany announced plans to build its core 5G network in the AWS public cloud, along with a number of functions to support IIoT.
- Orange Business Services announced a partnership with Google Cloud to explore opportunities in data, AI, and edge computing.
- Telefónica and Google announced an expansion of their cloud partnership to address 5G solutions using Google’s mobile edge computing (MEC) platform.
- Telstra announced an extension of its partnership with Microsoft, combining cloud and 5G in order to address IoT edge and AI opportunities.
- Verizon teamed with Microsoft to offer private 5G MEC using the Microsoft Azure cloud.
- Verizon partnered with IBM to collaborate on 5G and AI solutions for the enterprise market, with an emphasis on MEC co-innovation.
Application Enablement and Analytics
- Deutsche Telekom announced a co-creation approach to smart cities, including smart vehicles and SaaS-based urban mobility platforms.
- Deutsche Telekom partnered with KUKA to address the IoT opportunity in the SMB manufacturing market in Germany.
- Deutsche Telekom launched its new IoT Hub to simplify the orchestration of solutions through its ecosystems of technologies and partners.
- Verizon launched ThingSpace IoT Marketplace to encourage enterprises of all sizes to purchase, activate, and manage customized IoT solutions.
- Verizon partnered with Microsoft Azure IoT Central to enable simple and quick creation/deployment of end-to-end solutions using Azure.
- AT&T expanded its relationship with Ericsson/Cradlepoint to advance public sector communications.
- Orange Business Services partnered with KDDI to offer connected car services across Europe involving Toyota and Mazda.
- Orange Business Services consolidated its e-health activities by combining with activities in its Enovacom subsidiary.
- Orange Business Services partnered with Schneider (and Nokia) to run industrial 5G trials in several factories. Schneider is also a mobile private network customer of the operator, using a hybrid public/private approach.
- Telefónica announced a relationship with ASTI Mobile Robotics to develop integrated mobile robot solutions.
- Telefónica announced an agreement with Erictel to promote IoT and big data solutions with a focus on health and safety in public spaces.
These announcements showcase traction in multiple verticals from healthcare to manufacturing, smart cities, public sector, and connected car. They also highlight innovative approaches such as marketplace sales models, orchestration solutions, and offerings targeting SMBs. The majority of edge alliances continue to be with the hyperscalers, but IBM is also allied with a growing number of operators for development of new solutions that leverage edge, 5G, and AI. In H2 2020, there were also a number of alliances for mobile private networks among operators and infrastructure vendors Nokia and Ericsson. Private networks in industrial settings are going to be increasingly important to boost the profile of complex or large-scale IoT applications. While opportunities relating to 5G and MEC rollouts include support for ‘massive’ IoT, they also enable high-end use cases, many of which relate to IoT: for example, real-time manufacturing, robotics, hyper-connected retail, and remote healthcare, with high-bandwidth, low-latency connections required for AR/VR, streaming video, data and video analytics, and management of autonomous fleets of drones and automated guided vehicles (AGVs). GlobalData also notes that solutions developed by operators that are used to detect and prevent COVID-19 will have ‘legs’ after the pandemic, as they help companies with smart building and smart healthcare requirements.