Airtel set to ink global IoT deal with Verizon ahead of Jios enterprise biz launch

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Bharti Airtels enterprise business for India –Airtel Business– reported Rs 2,819.5 crore revenue for the fourth quarter of ended March 2018, up 9% on a yearly basis, compared with an overall net loss for the Indian operations, its first in 15 years. The enterprise business, which offers higher margins and makes up just less than a fifth of Airtels overall India revenue, is gaining in importance for local carriers such as Airtel even as their mobile services business, which still accounts of around 70% of the overall revenue, flounders under severe competitive pressure.

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Jio will not just launch IoT products and solutions for consumer IoT, but also for enterprise and industries, having already launched a narrow band IoT network with commercial network available in Mumbai.

For consumer IoT, Jio is working with a variety of technology vendors and bringing car manufacturers, consumer durables, and appliances players, among others, on board to build a complete ecosystem. It is building its own platform with big data strength, ET had previously reported.

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Under the partnership, Verizons global customers will be able to deploy solutions on Airtels IoT platforms as and when they have requirements in India. Similarly, Airtel customers will have access to Verizons IoT platforms, the person said. The partnership, when finalized, will also give Airtel access to Verizons large corporate customer base.

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Airtel set to ink global IoT deal with Verizon ahead of Jios enterprise biz launch

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For the various projects, the company has already built large teams to execute several IoT-related projects. It already provides solutions like smart metering, asset tracking, equipment monitoring and traffic management solutions to enterprise customers.

Vodafone, which is in a process of merging operations with Idea Cellular, recently told ET that IoT is one of the fastest growing segments within its enterprise business, and it will bring some global IoT use cases to India, besides launching the narrowband IoT network.RELATEDWorld Telecommunications Day: How AI is being used widely in the telecom sectorNewsletterTags :EnterpriseEnterprise Servicesverizonbharti airtelIoTAirtel Businessreliance jiovodafone indiaComment on this

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Within enterprise, IoT is expected to be the growth area going forward. Indias IoT market size is expected to increase about seven times — from $1.3 billion in 2016 to $9 billion by 2020, according to consultancy firm Deloitte.

Reliance Jio, the 4G entrant, has also begun offering enterprise solutions along with fiber-to-the-home on a trial basis in a few locations in the country. Upon the launch, Jio will provide multiprotocol label switching networks, internet protocol-virtual private networks, cloud services and managed video-conferencing among others.

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Airtel is already one of the largest enterprise players in the country and competes with the likes of Tata Communications, Vodafone and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL), and the new partnership is expected to provide it with a massive boost to further consolidate its presence. Reliance Jio has already started offering some enterprises services on a pilot basis.

With action around the development of IoT and connected devices ecosystem gathering pace, both companies may also collaborate to launch value-added services in the IoT space, the person said.

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Queries sent to Airtel and Verizon remained unanswered till press-time Monday.

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Airtel, which has already developed an in-house IoT platform, is also planning to use its upcoming innovation lab in Bengaluru.

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NEW DELHI:Bharti Airtelis in advanced talks with US telecom majorVerizonfor a broad partnership around Internet of Things (IoT) as the Indian telecom market leader readies massive plans for its enterprise business ahead ofReliance Jios much-awaited commercial entry into the segment.

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A person privy to the matter told ET that the talks with Verizon have been on for a few months and an agreement is expected to be signed by the middle of June, with both companies looking at sharing their respective IoT platforms and leveraging their respective market expertise.

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Airtel, which has already developed an in-house IoT platform, is also planning to use its upcoming innovation lab in Bengaluru, which also focuses data analytics, artificial intelligence and augmented reality and virtual reality. It has already started some IoT projects at its Manesar, Haryana center.

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