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China Mobile International and Singtel have joined forces to help enterprises deploy internet of things (IoT) devices and applications across their respective narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) networks in Singapore and China.
Through the partnership, China Mobile’s enterprise customers can use their IoT devices on Singtel’s network in Singapore, without having to manually configure the devices or switch networks in-country.
Likewise, Singtel’s business customers can use their own IoT applications or devices in China on China Mobile’s network.
Enterprises will also get access to a common platform that gives them network visibility and control of their devices in Singapore and China, as well as simplified single billing that lets them better manage costs and receive a consolidated bill.
For a start, the two telcos – which are among Asia’s largest in terms of subscriber numbers – are targeting IoT applications in the consumer, automobile and industrial segments. The partnership will also see Singtel selling China Mobile’s suite of NB-IoT products in Singapore.
“The partnership reinforces the synergy of our combined extensive networks in China and Singapore to generate economies of scale, allowing enterprises to accelerate the expansion of their IoT footprints in the two countries,” said Diomedes Kastanis, head of IoT at Singtel.
“In an era where successful businesses run on data-driven insights, IoT is the invaluable resource enabling enterprises to unlock value from data to achieve business breakthroughs and solve critical challenges.
“Our partnership with an established leader like China Mobile International cements our commitment to empowering enterprises with the right capabilities to reap the full potential of IoT, starting with connectivity.”
NB-IoT is a connectivity standard backed by telcos and the GSM Association (GSMA) to connect up IoT devices using existing cellular networks. It is well-suited for IoT applications that require higher data transfer rates.
Rival technologies such as Sigfox and Lora could be potentially cheaper. Operating on unlicensed spectrum, they suit IoT deployments that require IoT devices and sensors to have long battery lives and in areas where cellular coverage is poor or may not be present.
Both Lora and Sigfox also let enterprises track their IoT devices across their operator networks in different countries, a capability that Singtel and China Mobile will now deliver through their partnership.
According to the GSMA, the IoT market in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is expected to reach US$386bn with 11 billion connections by 2025.
Read more about IoT in APAC
- Schneider Electric has nearly halved material wastage by applying smart manufacturing technologies at its Indonesia plant.
- Perth-based Citic Pacific has implemented an analytics and IoT system from SAP to track its assets and shore up operational efficiency.
- China’s Alibaba Cloud and Intel have developed an IoT computing platform designed to make it easier for enterprises to train AI and machine learning models at the edge.
- Besides lowering adoption costs, an ecosystem of governments, technology suppliers and telcos is necessary for the IoT to flourish in Southeast Asia.
- Singapore telco M1 has fired the first salvo by being the first in the city-state to roll out NB-IoT.