T-Mobile, Deutsche Telekom aim to simplify IoT

T-Mobile US and its parent Deutsche Telekom (DT) launched T-IoT, described as a “comprehensive enterprise solution” for the global IoT market.

T-Mobile has made it clear that it wants to grow its share of the enterprise space to 20% by 2025, which means it has to double its share in just a few years.

One way to go about doing that: Capitalize on its 5G network prowess, in both coverage and speed, and make the most of its relationship with Germany-based stakeholder DT. Add to that a strategy around removing the pain points associated with global IoT, and – they hope – they’ve got a winning combination.

“The Un-carrier rewrote the rules of wireless. Now, as America’s 5G leader, with the fastest, largest, and most reliable 5G network, we’re writing the rules of the 5G era, and we’re doing it in favor of customers and businesses,” said T-Mobile Business Group President Mike Katz in a statement. “With T-IoT and our award-winning networks, we’re poised to help businesses realize the true potential of IoT by completely disrupting the status quo of how IoT is purchased and managed.”

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According to the companies, here are some bullet points that T-IoT intends to provide:

  • Worldwide network connectivity spanning a range of technologies, including NB-IoT, LTE-M, LTE and 5G. 
  • A “single pane of glass” to easily view and eventually manage global IoT connections across several platforms, including T-Mobile Control Center and Deutsche Telekom M2M Service Portal, with the T-IoT Hub.
  • A simplified procurement process that includes streamlined contract and billing, consistent global service level agreements and customer support.
  • Flexible pricing with a pay-per-data model or a choice of three flat-rate unlimited connectivity packages (T-IoT Unlimited Base, T-IoT Unlimited Premium and T-IoT Unlimited Pro) across the U.S. and Europe, as well as value added services to serve connectivity needs for the lifetime of the device.

The intent is to deliver a global IoT to enterprises without any friction, said Mishka Dehghan, SVP, Strategy, Product & Solutions Engineering at T-Mobile Business Group. It will be available across 188 destinations with 383 networks worldwide, she said. “It’s a truly global solution,” she told Fierce.

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Despite all the excitement and hype in the industry around IoT, many enterprises with global requirements have not fully captured the value of IoT because global IoT deployments are really complex, she said.

“We talked to dozens and dozens of customers” to identify their pain points, and the complexity factor was the No. 1 thing that kept recurring, she said. Part of that complexity comes from having to manage multiple service level agreements in different countries.

“We are really proud to bring the power and the strengths of two massive, global operators on each side of the pond, Deutsche Telekom and T=Mobile US, and bring full harmonization to that entire IoT ecosystem,” she said. “T-IoT is a new way of managing IoT in a simple and flexible way.”

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Why now? “We wanted to bring that flexibility at scale to all of our customers, really bringing the legacy reliability of Deutsche Telekom in Europe with the un-carrier DNA that we have in the U.S. with T-Mobile US to make sure that we can really disrupt an industry that has been maintained by legacy operators as intentionally complex and we want to solve the pain points of our customers. We have a huge opportunity in this space.”

Automotive space revs up

Automotive is one of those industries that would benefit from harmony in the space; it’s also one of the areas where AT&T has the lion’s share of business from a cellular point of view.

In 2019, AT&T and Vodafone Business used the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona to announce their partnership and a desire to simplify the deployment process for connected car solutions.

But with the breadth, depth and distributed nature of its 5G network, T-Mobile thinks the time right to strike. “We are the only ones who can do this today,” Dehghan said.

The T-Mobile/DT press release announcing T-IoT includes a reference to the German luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz. 

"With millions of connected Mercedes-Benz vehicles in nearly every corner of the world today, and up to 20 million connected cars in our fleet by 2025, we need be able to rely on telecommunications partners like T-IoT, that offer us global network coverage and an ecosystem for IoT leadership,” said Ola Källenius, chairman of the Board at Mercedes-Benz Group AG, in a statement. “Real-time, high-bandwidth data transmission is key to digital innovation. 5G technology in IoT scenarios will allow our vehicles to communicate with the speed and reliability needed to offer our customers greater efficiency through improved routing and improved safety.”