Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Apac mobile operators join GSMA IoT programme

Steve Rogerson
November 8, 2018
Fourteen mobile operators across the Asia Pacific region have joined the GSMA’s Apac IoT partnership programme. The programme is said to represent the largest IoT community in the region, with over 500 partners.
Partners include mobile operators, consultants, developers, manufacturers, system integrators and vertical service providers, and aims set to grow to more than 2000 partners by 2020.
The 14 operators are Celcom, Dialog, DTAC, M1, Maxis, Ncell, Optus, Robi, Smart, Smartfren, Singtel, True, XL and Xpand.
“M1 has been working with leading technology and digital partners, government agencies and customers to capture opportunities in the digital economy and support Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives,” said Alex Tan, chief innovation officer at M1. “Today, we are supporting our customers and partners for their IoT application development leveraging on our nationwide commercial NB-IoT network. In addition, our IoT lab provides a real-time environment for their experimentation. We look forward to engage more partners and drive new initiatives in the IoT ecosystem across Asia Pacific through the IoT partnership programme with the GSMA.”
As the largest IoT market in the world, the Asia Pacific is expected to account for 11 billion connections and represent a revenue opportunity of US$386bn by 2025, according to the GSMA.
“The IoT is growing rapidly across the Asia Pacific region, with mobile operators working with their partners and the wider ecosystem to drive this expansion,” said Julian Gorman, head of Asia Pacific for the GSMA. “This programme will support the development of the IoT by creating a cross-regional IoT community to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing, as well as creating opportunities that benefit both the supply chain and their customers. The programme is already expanding to include other Asia Pacific countries and we welcome new members to join.”
A key focus of the programme is the support of IoT Labs, which are being set up by operators across the region to encourage the development of IoT products and services. The labs are a key requirement for collaboration and encourage the joint development of new use cases, services and applications, and enable IoT innovations to be effectively deployed. All operators in the programme have signed a memorandum of understanding to ensure that the coordination and output among the IoT Labs is consistent with IoT standards regionally and globally.
“Leveraging our superior suite of IoT solutions and backed by our industry-leading 4G network, we are confident that by working with providers in our IoT Lab, we will help strengthen the IoT ecosystem for businesses in Malaysia,” said Paul McManus, head of enterprise at Maxis. “Through this partnership, we hope to tap into the GSMA’s best practices and expertise in exploring and accelerating the many possibilities the IoT presents our customers in the Malaysian market place.”
The labs will be available to partners and customers in markets initially including Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
“DTAC has continuously supported Thailand’s drive towards the digital economy through collaboration with the GSMA and various parties,” said Thibaut Girard, head of strategy at DTAC. “IoT is key to the country’s digital transition. Joining the Apac IoT partnership programme of the GSMA can enhance innovations in the IoT ecosystem, drive economic growth and increase the country’s competitiveness in the region.
In addition to establishing and expanding the labs, participating operators have committed to develop initiatives and share best practices to accelerate the deployment of innovative IoT use cases that could improve the lives of over three billion people across the Asia Pacific region.
"Smartfren is very pleased to be part of the GSMA Apac IoT partnership programme to introduce IoT technology in Indonesia," said Shurish Subbramaniam, chief technology officer for PT Smartfren Telecom. “This is in-line with what Smartfren always inspires to do; to enable and educate society in utilising 4G LTE Advanced technology for advancement of society in particular and Indonesia in general. With this cooperation and learning the best practices across the region, Smartfren believes that we could introduce IoT soon and be able to contribute towards Indonesia's economic growth.”
Diomedes Kastanis, head of IoT at Singtel, added: “As a leading IoT platform and services provider, Singtel is pleased to be part of GSMA’s innovation lab. Our extensive IoT ecosystem facilitates seamless on-boarding of devices onto the cloud, enabling enterprises to easily launch and scale up new services that allow them to redefine existing business models.”
And Songtham Phianpattanawit, managing director for IoT at True, said: “We are excited to join the GSMA Apac IoT partnership to build the IoT community. True has the fully integrated IoT ecosystem under the concept of ‘The Future is Real’. We provide IoT services with the best NB-IoT network coverage throughout Thailand and, by cooperating with leading partners worldwide, we also offer the best IoT platform for the comprehensive uses and supporting a broad range of IoT applications.”
True plans to set up an IoT innovation lab at True Digital Park, Thailand’s first and largest digital innovation hub in south-east Asia to encourage innovators to test, learn and develop IoT technologies.
“Our IoT innovation lab can support the GSMA Apac IoT programme and make it possible for Thai IoT innovators to further develop their potential in the near future,” said Phianpattanawit.