Just a week after Deutsche Telekom (DT) kicked off its 5G network buildout in Germany, the operator announced a strategic partnership with fellow German company Software AG to deliver IoT services on a global scale.
DT and its enterprise customer unit T-Systems will expand their Cloud of Things offering using Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT platform. By pooling expertise and resources, the two plan to expand their presence across the United States, Germany and wider European markets.
In a video accompanying the news, Adel Al-Saleh, CEO of T-Systems and Deutsche Telekom board member, said IoT has been a big focus area for DT for a number of years and certainly over the past three years. “We’re trying to focus on specific solutions which are more horizontal in nature to give companies an ability to scale faster,” he said.
Machine-to-machine (M2M) is a big area for DT, starting with automotive manufacturers with which it tracks the cars; it manages over 10 million cars across the globe.
These two companies have a history of working together, but now T-Systems will use Cumulocity IoT’s connected architecture as the foundation for its integrated Cloud of Things IoT platform. Cloud of Things is the backbone that supports a range of mission-critical customer applications, with the intention of starting small and scaling fast. It allows companies to remotely monitor, manage and control their connected devices and machines.
The companies explained that under the new partnership, Cloud of Things will operate within a multi-cloud environment, giving it greater ability to scale quickly with customer demand and expand its capabilities with new functional extensions, including streaming analytics, micro services and new protocols. They also expect to tap into new industries such as the smart home sector.
“This is a new way of partnering and co-operating to offer complete IoT solutions for the real-time economy,” said Sanjay Brahmawar, CEO Software AG, in a statement. “With Deutsche Telekom as our strategic partner, we will offer the most competitive platform! Customers can simplify their IoT and integration needs with self-service analytics and gain insights to accelerate their businesses for the fully connected future.”
Just last month, DT announced it had put its new IoT network into operation throughout Germany. It’s based on narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and covers 90% of Germany's area; the rollout will be completed by the end of 2019.
According to GSMA, 118 LTE-M and NB-IoT commercial networks have been launched globally. NB-IoT has been more widely deployed in Europe, with LTE-M dominating the U.S. initially, but more U.S. operators, including AT&T—which also boasts a global portfolio—are launching nationwide NB-IoT networks.