‘Challenge lies in getting the ecosystem to deliver devices matching the scale’
Tata Communications’ bet on creating the world’s largest network of Internet of Things (IoT) in India is starting to pay off as initial investments have started translating into large commercial deployments.
That growth in place, the company expects the IoT business to grow 10 fold in the next one year.
“I think that the market is now in a phase where clients have tested out everything. They’re willing to accept the new things coming in and are starting to see the benefits. In terms of devices, I am looking at 10x growth, and revenues will be more or less in line,” VS Shridhar, Senior V-P and head, Internet of Things at Tata Communications, told BusinessLine.
According to Shridhar, the company is at a stage where CEOs of client companies are actually driving IoT implementations asking for quick deployment. Now, the challenge lies in getting the IoT ecosystem ready to deliver devices at that scale.
The Indian IoT market is expected to grow to $15 billion with 2.7 billion units by 2020 from the current $5.6 billion and 200 million connected units, according to a Nasscom-Deloitte joint report. The industrial applications of IoT, primarily in manufacturing, automotive and transportation, and logistics, are expected to drive IoT revenues by 2020 in India, the report said.
Beyond smart cities
So far, Tata Communications has been primarily looking at smart cities as a big potential market for IoT deployments.
“We have evolved from there and are now looking at enterprises. If there were some enterprises looking at 100 to 200 devices earlier, they are now looking at 1,000 to 10,000 devices to transform their business. So the scale is both a problem and an opportunity,” Shridhar said. Over the past one year, Tata Communications has been doing the ground work for this.
Early last year, it rolled out the IoT network with the help of Low Power Wide Area Network based on LoRa technology for connected devices and IoT applications across Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru and committed over $100 million in investments.
Shridhar said the early investments are now starting to pay off as enterprises have only now started to look at IoT deployments in a big way.
Beyond the backbone network, Tata Communications is now working on all aspects of IoT — devices, applications and platforms — while at the same time working with external vendors who already have presence in all of these areas.