Press "Enter" to skip to content

Right time to build IoT in India: Bharti Airtel

NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel has said that India is currently a very good place to be a builder of the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. To unlock the opportunity, Airtel is adopting applications and partner-based approach to grow its IoT business in India, besides ensuring consistent investments towards developing the narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) ecosystem in the country.

“…we will always go with what the GSMA and 3 GPP bodies are talking about, and NBIoT is one of those technologies that will help. We definitely will be investing there, we are also looking into what the customers also need in terms of specific use cases,” Sundi Raman, head (digital products & IoT), Airtel Business, told ET.

Airtel is focusing on enabling connectivity, building applications and providing a platform for developers to build the new use cases. “India is a very good place right now to be a builder of IoT”.

The telco is focusing mainly on the automotive sector in India, besides making inroads in the country’s healthcare sector through its applications cently partnered with MG Motors to help launch internet-connected car and is currently working with Apollo Hospitals to connect their remote healthcare centres and to manage workforce.

Airtel has already built an independent IoT vertical as part of its Airtel Business, which clocked $1.7 billion in revenues for fiscal year 2018-19. Its rival Reliance Jio Infocomm is preparing to tap into the IoT market at the pan-India level through its NB-IoT network. Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) is also driving its enterprise business by launching commercial NB-IoT services, having conducted pilot programmes in four cities for various use cases, including smart energy metering.

NB-IoT is a new technology standard, designed to broaden rethe future of IoT connectivity, providing significantly improved and deeper network coverage for communication between machines while lowering power consumption by devices. India’s NB-IoT market is expected to grow to Rs 5,000 crore in three years, as per industry estimates.

Airtel is now focused on bringing more partners on board to develop applications using the IoT platform. “We want to partner with [application] providers, who can help us to fill the gaps”.

Raman said IoT is a huge ecosystem play and a single vendor can’t deliver the solution.

“…you have devices, network provider, platform play and application space. On top of that, you need to customise those applications for end customers”.

Source: Economic Times