Wed, Mar 21, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan Mobile to form partnerships to tap IoT market

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Executives of Taiwan Mobile Co and its 50 partners in an Internet of Things ecosystem project hold their company logos for a group photograph in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Wang I-hung, Taipei Times

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) yesterday said it is teaming up with 50 partners to create the nation’s biggest Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, with an ultimate goal of seeking new revenue streams by offering services like data analysis.

The first step in tapping into the market is to expand the scale of IoT devices, although it could make slim profits by offering Internet connections in the initial stage, Taiwan Mobile said.

The company is collaborating with Asian telecom alliance Bridge Alliance, Nokia, light-emitting diodes manufacturers Everlight Electronics Co (億光) and Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶), and “smart” meter module supplier Glory Technology Service Inc (皇輝科技) to explore IoT business opportunities.

The automative, “smart” home, wearable devices and utilities segments are the fastest-growing areas in the vast IoT market, the nation’s No. 2 telecom operator said.

Taiwan Mobile counts electric carmaker Tesla Inc as one of its IoT customers in the automotive sector.

Benefiting from the fledgling IoT market, Taiwan Mobile expects the number of IoT devices embedded with its SIM cards to more than double to 500,000 units from 200,000 units by the end of this year.

The company has secured 3 million SIM cards for IoT devices from the National Communications Commission.

“All of those SIM cards will be fully used in 2020, given the rapid growth in demand,” Taiwan Mobile president James Cheng (鄭俊卿) said. “The IoT market is expected to take off this year and will continue to be red-hot next year.”

The growth is largely expected to come from the utility and wearable segments over the next three years, Cheng said.

Taiwan Mobile said that in June it plans to bid for the right to install its IoT SIM cards in 200,000 “smart” electric meters.

It is also to supply electronic SIM (eSIM) cards for Apple Inc’s Apple Watch Series 3 in May or June, Taiwan Mobile said.

Taiwan Mobile is in talks with Taiwanese exporters to have their electronics equipped with its SIM cards, which would connect those devices to the Internet overseas using its IoT-bucklescript compiler platform.

The company expects to cut a deal with a local electronics vendor by the end of this year and to facilitate connection for those devices, in addition to completing nationwide deployment of its narrowband IoT network by June.

Local rival Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd (遠傳電信) yesterday said it expects to complete 60 percent of its narrowband IoT network by the end of this month.

It has collaborated with more than 200 partners to offer IoT hardware and software products, the company added.

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