US-based chipmaker Qualcomm and Taiwan’s MediaTek are betting big on India’s internet of things (IoT) market and working with various device makers and telecom service providers to drive the IoT ecosystem in India, focusing especially on the narrow-band IoT (NB-IoT) segment.
Analysts said that NB-IoT reduces device complexity, enhances battery life to several years and enables deeper coverage to reach sensors and meters in challenging locations such as remote rural areas or inside buildings. Both chipmakers are currently working with Indian telecom operators for certification and compliance testing of devices on their IoT networks, according to executives.
“We do see a big potential in the IoT space, especially NB-IoT,” said Kuldeep Malik, Country Head, Corporate Sales International, MediaTek India. He said that the company already has an IoT ecosystem ready with its module or device vendors. However, he added that the IoT market in India is fragmented and unorganised and that it will only start to shape up properly by early next year.
Jim Cathey, President, APAC & India at Qualcomm said that the company is focused on driving IoT through its collaboration with small startups to enable consumer and industrial IoT along with smart city use-cases in India.
Qualcomm’s director of business development, Uday Dodla, separately said that the company has been building an effective ecosystem of OEM (original equipment maker) and ODM (original equipment maker) collaborators to serve both consumer and industrial IoT segment.
In India, Qualcomm is collaborating with its device partners to serve both consumer and industrial IoT segments across applications such as smart wearables, vision-intelligent cameras, extended reality devices, point-of-sale products and smart energy metering. It also has a Design in India programme to give a push to the IoT business. India’s IoT policy, drafted by the electronics and information technology ministry, has set an ambitious goal to create a $15-billion industry by 2020. Reliance Jio Infocomm’s NB-IoT network is already live in cities such as Mumbai, while other telcos such as Vodafone India and Bharti Airtel are mulling over launching their respective NB-IoT networks in the country.