Austrian operator Magenta Telekom has signed a deal to provide its IoT infrastructure to monitor the containers of German-based international shipping line Hapag-Lloyd on a global basis. Hapag-Lloyd will implement GPS tracking for its containers in real time and will have access to important information such as the temperature inside the containers. The company recently presented its real-time container monitoring program, called Hapag-Lloyd LIVE.
The company will initially equip its entire fleet of around 10,000 vessels with the monitoring tools. Hapag-Lloyd said that it wants to develop commercial products in close collaboration with its customers in order to further adapt the system.
Magenta Telekom provides its service worldwide, using its IoT hub. In Austria, it operates a NB-IoT network, which is suited for a broad rage of IoT applications in different sectors such as logistics, industrial manufacturing, consumer goods industry and agriculture.
We have written on various occasions recently about the expansion of revenue opportunities for mobile operators in the realm of the IoT. In doing so we have pointed out the diversity of IoT applications, and indeed many of the IoT projects that we have mentioned are small-scale and narrowly focused—which in no way impugns their value. However, this deal between Magenta Telekom (wholly owned by Deutsche Telekom) and Hapag-Lloyd is a massive one with global reach, due to the nature of the shipping titan’s business and the sheer scope of the company.
Magenta Telekom has made an excellent strategic move in agreeing to provide the IoT network capacity for Hapag-Lloyd LIVE. This system involves 10,000 ships, each of which carries hundreds or thousands of containers, each of which requires monitoring for internal temperature, security and, of course, location. With one contract, Magenta wins for itself a tremendous volume of IoT business across the globe—a very efficient way to expand.
While the initial task involves relatively simple monitoring (perhaps requiring only narrowband IoT), Hapag-Lloyd intends to develop the system further to include other IoT products that will accomplish more complex tasks. When that occurs, Magenta will be in position to provide the connectivity, which may require more bandwidth, up to and including 5G. The revenue opportunities for Magenta are just beginning, it would appear. As traditional mobile services become less profitable, IoT is growing fast, and operators should be attuned to all of its possibilities.