China Telecom, the Chinese state-owned telecoms company, and Ericsson, the Swedish networking and telecoms equipment and services provider, have launched an open IoT platform.
The companies say that the platform will enable enterprises to deploy, control and scale the management of IoT devices through partnerships globally. Enterprise customers would be able to integrate their business processes with the managed connectivity service offered by China Telecom.
The China Telecom IoT Open Platform is based on Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform (DCP), a global platform that is already being used by numerous enterprise customers in various industries to manage IoT services. The DCP launched in 2012 and offers enterprise customers connectivity based on service-level agreements, and an overview of devices and access networks. It forms part of the Swedish company’s IoT Accelerator and is used by more than 25 operators, supporting over 2,000 enterprise customers.
“The IoT market is growing very rapidly and we aim to use our expertise in this area to help our customers capitalize on this opportunity. Together with China Telecom, we can play a key role in realizing the tremendous potential of the IoT by reinventing processes, creating new services, and capturing new revenue,” said Magnus Rahm, head of global service operations at Ericsson.
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A big opportunity
According to Ian Hughes, IoT analyst at IT advisory company 451 Research, the partnership is similar to many others that have been made over the last few years, particularly as telecoms companies aim to get a slice of IoT revenues.
“Network carriers in telecoms are having to address how to engage and provide IoT solutions, or they face being disrupted significantly, hence they are forming partnerships or engaging in M&A activity with IoT platform and service providers,” he said.
Those platforms that control the security and management of IoT devices and make it easier for enterprises to rollout IoT products of their own will get a slice of the revenue while also remaining core to their enterprise customers’ growth, he added.
In regards to Ericsson, Hughes said that by accessing an under-served or soon-to-grow region, IoT vendors can also help to establish a more global footprint.
In a 2015 report, How the Internet of Things Can Drive Growth in China’s Industries, management consultancy firm Accenture estimated that the IoT could deliver economic gains in China of up to $1.8 billion in cumulative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2030.
But the potential gains, they noted, “are at risk due to challenges in infrastructure, data policy and talent.” With many of the country’s industries stuck in low-value segments, constrained by weak innovation capacity, the Chinese government launched a ‘Made in China 2025’ initiative in 2015, modelled on Germany’s ‘Industry 4.0’ scheme.
Ericsson, meanwhile, has a number of IoT partnerships already. In May, it teamed up with Microsoft to offer cellular IoT services, and last year it teamed with Maersk Line, the world’s largest shipping company to develop global IoT solutions for the ocean cargo transport industry.