- The company is focusing on improving connectivity for automotive and healthcare sectors.
- It is also heavily investing to build-up narrowband IoT (NBIoT) ecosystem in India.
Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company, has stated that India is the perfect place for the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. To benefit from this, Airtel is entering into several collaborations in order to grow its Internet of Things (IoT) business in India and solve country-specific needs, besides investing in the development of narrowband IoT (NBIoT) ecosystem in the country. As per industry estimates, India’s NB-IoT market is expected to grow to Rs 5,000 crore in three years.
“We will always go with what the GSMA and 3GPP bodies are talking about, and NBIoT is one of those technologies that will help. We definitely will be investing there, we are also looking into what the customers also need in terms of specific used cases,” said Sundi Raman – Head, Digital Products & IoT, Airtel Business.
“We believe in open telco, so we will continue investing there. India is a very good place right now to be a builder of IoT,” he added.
Focus on automotive and healthcare sectors
The company is majorly focusing on the Indian automotive sector. It recently partnered with MG Motors to help launch an internet-connected car.
Besides automotive, the company is also venturing into the healthcare sector and is currently working with Apollo Hospitals for establishing internet-connected remote healthcare centres.
Airtel is now focussing on bringing more partners on board to develop applications using the IoT platform. “We want to partner with application providers, who can help us to fill the gaps,” Raman said. “You have devices, network provider, platform play and application space. On top of that, you actually need to customise those applications for end customers.”
The government’s Digital India program, will open new potentials for implementing IoT technology on a larger scale, especifically the smart meters project (the plan is to have around 250 million smart meters in the country).
Airtel is also working with startups to develop new use cases. “The thriving ecosystem of startups is here and we believe in India start-ups are mushrooming, but they also need to understand as to how to operate in the Indian market of cost sensitivity,” he said.