News Technology

SoftBank Corp. to Boost its IoT Business in Asia-Pacific with 1NCE Partnership

SoftBank Corp., a leading Japanese telecommunications company, announced that it will expand its global Internet of Things (IoT) business in the Asia-Pacific region from October 2023. The company aims to acquire 2 million IoT connections by March 2026, by marketing affordable and convenient IoT services from German company 1NCE GmbH.

SoftBank’s “Beyond Carrier” Strategy

SoftBank Corp. is pursuing a “Beyond Carrier” growth strategy, which means expanding beyond its core telecommunications business to create new businesses in various industries. The company is also promoting digital transformation (DX) across different sectors, by leveraging its advanced technologies and network infrastructure.

One of the key areas of focus for SoftBank is the IoT business field, which involves connecting devices, machines, and sensors to the internet and enabling data exchange and analysis. IoT has various applications in sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, transportation, and smart cities.

SoftBank Corp. to Boost its IoT Business in Asia-Pacific with 1NCE Partnership

According to a report by IDC, the IoT spending in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan and China) is expected to reach $288.6 billion by 2024, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.7%. The report also identifies the key drivers of IoT adoption in the region, such as improving operational efficiency, enhancing customer experience, and creating new business models.

SoftBank’s Partnership with 1NCE

In April 2022, SoftBank took an equity stake in 1NCE GmbH, a German company that provides low-cost and flat-rate IoT connectivity services. The company’s flagship product is the “1NCE IoT Flat Rate”, which offers unlimited data, SMS, and voice for IoT devices for a one-time fee of €10 (about $11.7) for 10 years. The service also allows customers to roam on 1NCE’s global network of more than 160 countries and regions at no additional cost.

The 1NCE IoT Flat Rate is suitable for low-bandwidth and long-term IoT applications, such as smart meters, asset tracking, environmental monitoring, and remote maintenance. The service has been well received by enterprise customers, including Japan-based companies such as Pocketalk Corporation, which produces a portable translation device.

SoftBank signed an agreement with 1NCE to exclusively market the 1NCE IoT Flat Rate in 19 Asia-Pacific markets, including Japan, Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. While SoftBank previously focused on marketing the service in Japan, it is now launching a full-fledged expansion of its IoT business in the region.

SoftBank’s IoT Business Expansion Plans

SoftBank plans to quadruple its IoT salesforce in the Asia-Pacific region and launch dedicated online IoT shops in partnership with 1NCE. The company will also strengthen its advertising and marketing initiatives in the region to attract more customers.

SoftBank will also utilize its IoT platform to propose solutions related to smart meters and other IoT applications. The company will also build a wide-ranging support framework to solve problems that various industries are facing in their respective countries and regions.

Daichi Nozaki, Senior Vice President responsible for the global business at SoftBank Corp., commented on the announcement: “We’re extremely pleased to be able to fully expand our IoT business in the APAC region. While we’ve been providing IoT services primarily in Japan and contributing to the DX of various industries there, going forward we’ll collaborate with strong business partners like 1NCE and leverage our expertise gained in the Japan market to fully establish ourselves in APAC.”

Starting with its global IoT business, SoftBank will take measures to expand its global business, primarily in the APAC region, and promote its “Beyond Japan” initiative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *