T-Mobile Czech Republic has launched a new web portal having to do with the Internet of Things, called TEO. In its initial phase, the portal will include examples of existing solutions deployed by customers as well as examples of applications of the technology in business. The portal also introduces the members of T-Mobile’s TEO team.
In addition to its catalogue of existing customer solutions, TEO will also allow companies to submit direct requests for IoT solutions, and the team will subsequently prepare specific proposals for their deployment. Eventually, a blog on news on the IoT will be added, as well as an e-shop that will offer individualized products and complete solutions, running on the network Sigfox, according to Ondrej Kozina, Manager of Innovations at T-Mobile.
As we have written previously, the Internet of Things represents a huge opportunity for mobile operators. Of course the potential revenue from connectivity is significant, as IoT-enabled devices proliferate and require networks on which to operate. The market is expanding rapidly; spending on IoT systems is expected to grow by 16.7 percent to over US $800 billion in the coming year and to US $1.4 trillion by 2021, according to an analysts’ report. Manufacturing, freight monitoring and asset management will account for the lion’s share of this spending, while airport monitoring, smart home systems, electric vehicle charging and in-store marketing will experience the fastest growth.
Beyond the question of connectivity revenue, the IoT is an excellent venue for exactly the kind of non-traditional services that MNOs are looking for as they diversify in an effort to remain relevant in an age of declining ARPU from traditional mobile services.
This latter, larger purpose will be best served if operators take matters into their own hands instead of waiting for IoT developers and other technology companies to create applications. Being the “dumb pipe” of the emerging IoT will not serve operators particularly well, as far as long-term growth is concerned. To avoid that trap, operators should take a page out of T-Mobile Czech Republic’s book and become active partners in developing actual systems. Inviting the submission of ideas for applications is an excellent first step, in our view. Creating or co-creating solutions that are genuinely desired in the marketplace will be the next step, and this will enable the operator to aggressively insert its brand into the emerging IoT sphere and to sell solutions as well as network connectivity.