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Indian Telcos Warm To IoT

India’s service providers have started work on the development of technologies that will satisfy the growing demand for Internet of Things (IoT) services.

A case in point is the recent partnership between Reliance Communications Ltd., one of India’s biggest mobile network operators, and US-based Jasper Wireless Inc. , an IoT specialist. The two companies have joined forces to provide enterprises with a platform for the launch of IoT services. Jasper is to use RCom’s 11 data centers as well as its Global Cloud Exchange to deliver services, while RCom will take advantage of Jasper’s software expertise.

More such announcements from other service providers are likely to be made in the near future, with India’s government determined to foster growth in this area. Last year, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) released the first policy draft on IoT, developed as part of India’s “Digital India” initiative. Aiming to create an IoT market worth about $15 billion by 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also set up a Centre of Excellence for IoT. (SeeIndia Takes Digital Leap and Foxconn Plugs Into India’s Manufacturing Dreams.)

Unsurprisingly, then, RCom is not the only service provider keen to grab a big share of this market. Vodafone India ‘s enterprise division, Vodafone Business Services, recently announced a partnership with a company called Diabetacare on the rollout of dCare Smart, a device that allows diabetes sufferers to manage their condition.

dCare is powered by Vodafone’s M2M cellular technology, using a Vodafone embedded SIM card to connect directly to Diabetacare’s backend clinical servers and monitor patient health. Interestingly, Vodafone was one of the first operators in India to come out with M2M offerings.

When it comes to IoT, the enterprise segment is quickly emerging as a focus area for Vodafone and its rivals, offering better margins than other market segments. The rollout of 4G — which a number of Indian operators are now developing — is likely to create further momentum for IoT. (See Airtel, RJio Add Impetus to India’s 4G Market and Airtel Gets 4G Ammunition With Augere Acquisition.)

Indeed, the enterprise segment is likely to be the first beneficiary of 4G deployment. In a recent investor presentation, Idea Cellular Ltd. , another of India’s big mobile players, said that IoT — together with the cloud — would become a significant generator of revenues for the business in future. Due to be launched early next year, Idea’s 4G network is expected to offer M2M and IoT services to enterprise customers in various parts of the country.

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