With the Indian government putting big emphasis on enabling a large number of smart cities within the country – the whole segment of Internet of Things is becoming important. Telit is highly regarded as a leading organization engaged in delivering innovative IoT driven solutions and is ideally poised to add big value in sectors such as Energy, Telematics and Telemetry.
On the sidelines of Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, KJ Lee, Sr. Director Marketing, Telit APAC speaks with Zia Askari about the company’s core focus areas today and how it is targeting the Indian market.
What are the priorities for Telit in India?
Telit is a 100% IoT focused company. Till now we were concentrating on the hardware side of business like the cellular modules, GNSS Modules and Short range modules. Since 2013 after acquiring ILS technology, a spin of division of IBM, we have changed our strategy from hardware to services and platform.
Of course, we will continuously sell our module to the market. Our growth rate from the service and platform business is 100% year on year. Last year we sold 18 million modules which is nearly 31% of the global market share. This is proven by the fact that we are supplying to more than 100 fortune 500 companies.
We will also continue a strong push for GNSS products. With the launch of Telit module Jupiter SE873, which tracks signals from both GPS and GLONASS satellites, Telit has set a new standard for applications in the navigation and tracking segments last year.
Telit has once again raised the bar developing the industry smallest Flash based GNSS module, demonstrating its commitment to an aggressive research and development policy. In the cellular module field, we expect to continue strong expansion in our portfolio.
Last year we launched many new derivatives of our popular xE910 module family. The xE910 is a family of compact LGA modules sharing a unified form factor and common AT interface, and supporting GSM/GPRS, UMTS/HSPA+, CDMA/EV-DO and even LTE. A newly announced LTE variant – the LT910-SV – expanded the module family even further.
One segment that will remain our focus is smart energy. In combination with one of the modules from our cellular module portfolio, we are the only manufacturer able to offer an unparalleled complete solution with high customization capability. Telit also became the first IoT module manufacturer to certify its own ZigBee Stack to stringent ZigBee PRO and Smart Energy requirements.
This means that our customers can integrate end products like utility meters and home control devices with precision and adapt them to their exact market requirements.
How do you see the opening of Internet of Things in India?
Internet of Things (IoT) as the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate, sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment. The burgeoning markets of energy management, smart grids, sensor networks and other intelligent systems, coupled with advances in IoT platforms and big data, have given birth to many innovations, start-up companies and big company acquisitions.
In fact the opportunities are so vast, that for many companies, coming up with a clear strategy on how to implement this new technology is a huge step. Recent research conducted by Forrester in the retails industry found that 96% of retail decision makers are hoping to make the necessary changes to adopt IoT solutions in the near future, but over half are concerned about integration challenges.
The opportunity for IoT in the Indian market is huge but at the moment the market size is small and the market is very price competitive. As an enabler of IoT solutions, we are hoping to get a good slice of the market, especially in the government’s Smart City project and in other sectors like Energy, Telematics and Telemetry.
Another important aspect of IoT is the security and privacy concerns and these must be addressed for IoT to succeed. If the proper balance is not struck between the benefits of the Internet of Things and individual privacy and security, the evolution of the IoT is likely to be seriously compromised.
The ongoing deployment of IoT devices is already creating serious issues and discussions about the privacy of users, IoT security, and the potential threat of cyber criminals taking control of sensors and smart devices connected to the Internet. The future is all about the Internet of Things. When companies plan their IoT strategy, they need to think how they can better secure the devices, serve their users, and make sure that it makes them more productive while managing IoT properly.
How do you see the opportunities in Telco business for Telit in India?
Telco’s and operators have connective device platform (CPD) which they use to send bills to customer for voice and data usage At Telit we are developing the devices on Application Enabled Platform (AEP) which can installed on the top of the CDP.
We have been developing AEP since 2002 and have more that 150 APIs which can be used in every vertical segment of IoT. This is a very unique proposition from Telit. However Telco’s want to establish their own platform and we are trying to tell them that our platform is not only more competitive but also technically superior as we have over 15 years experience in this field Currently we are talking to operators in India as they would need this platform as they expand their services. We are more focused on 4G (LTE) as it is more supportive in terms of technology and price.
Most of the Telco’s are betting that when 5G comes it is mostly about M2M Communication. What is your opinion on that?
5G is another story. We are more focused on 4G (LTE) than 5G because it is more supportive in terms of technology and price. We are competing with the GSM market, so we are focusing on LTE Category M which competes with GSM pricewise. We are more focused on narrow band LTE as compared to 5G.
4G LTE is going to be a game changer in India, with the operators in India rolling out 4G networks, LTE is going to play a leading role in the telecom segment. Here Telit is well positioned to cater to the needs of customers’ future-proof design platforms with its set of LTE modules that provide seamless connectivity to multiple frequency bands across different carriers.
Along with the growth of Automotive Telematics in India, LTE is going to the next big thing that would drive this industry going forward. 5G should be followed and Telit will move in the future as well once market needs 5G.
What are the verticals you are focusing on in India?
Telecom, Energy and Automotive Telematics are our key areas. We are working closely with many power utilities and government agencies to understand their needs, challenges and the roadmap ahead for implementing IoT communication technologies. In the field of telematics, we are working with the local design houses to identify different needs of the consumers to come up with solutions to meet their specific requirements. Another sector which we see growing is the solar sector which is using IoT modules for various applications.
Telit plans to continue expanding the value it brings to the various vertical segments with new products and services in the machine-to-machine communication space and the Internet of Things.
The company is already collaborating with OEM/Design partners and collectively participate in implementation of government initiated M2M/IoT based projects. Apart from that, the company aims to increase penetration in the small-to-medium enterprise customer base securing growing number of new IoT applications. Some of our design partners are using our modules and developing new products in their respective fields. This collaboration with OEM/Design partners where we provide the modules for them to develop new products would continue and this would help many high tech SME companies to bring some innovative technology products to the market.
What are some of the big innovations expected from Telit?
The biggest innovation is that we have only one platform which covers all IoT areas. As we have over 150 APIs, we can just change APIs as per customer requirements and that is a unique proposition from Telit.
Please share details about your distributors in India?
Currently, we have three distributors in India. Rabyte Electronics, Arrow Electronics and Nest Connectivity. Keeping up with our expansion plans in India, we have recently signed up with a new distribution partner “WE Components India Pvt Ltd” which has PAN India presence with its sales/marketing and technical support teams.
This is another significant step towards our market penetration and commitment of unmatched support network across India. Our strategy is mainly to utilize the strengths of our distribution partners to address different market requirements from verticals and regions where each of them are more focused and entrenched.