Why China Telecom is building IoT partnerships

Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Bo Ribbing, Head of Sales Development DCP, for Ericsson. The IoT is global and will require global thinking and partnerships, and nowhere else is this as clear as in China.

Why China Telecom is building IoT partnerships
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The Chinese government recently upgraded the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) to a national development strategy in the government’s 13th Five-Year Plan (FYP), with a focus on the development of cloud computing and IoT, advancing the development of IoT sensing facilities, and propelling open-loop applications of IoT.

In the coming three years, China’s IoT will be widely applied to smart grid, smart home, digital city, smart healthcare, automobile sensor and other fields, with the expected gross output of RMB 3 trillion.  And for China Telecom, the world’s largest service provider, this is taking shape as a global, not national, strategy.

IoT on the Silk Road

Recently I had the pleasure of attending China Telecom’s launch event for their IoT Open Platform, a day before the opening of Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017. Under the slogan “eSurfing on the Silk Road – IoT with the World”, China Telecom had assembled an audience of more than 700 people to witness the formal inauguration of their new IoT initiative.

Chen Zhongyue, EVP of China Telecom, kicked off the event by giving the bigger picture on how this new endeavor fits perfectly into China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative to revive and digitalize economies along the Silk Road from China to Europe. China Telecom will focus on international partnerships for its IoT services, and its IoT Open Platform (powered by Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform and IoT Accelerator) is a foundation of the company’s overall IoT blueprint.

The need for a global IoT ecosystem

The importance of the global partner ecosystem was further highlighted when representatives from the service providers Orange, Telenor and Hong Kong Telecom CSL came on stage in a live signing ceremony for partnership agreements with China Telecom. There was no mistaking the symbolism when all the partners placed their hands on a large globe, and it immediately came alive with light, sparkle and energy.

There was also an inauguration of China Telecom’s IoT Lab, followed by a signing ceremony for partnerships with a selection of leading device OEMs.

Magnus Rahm and Miguel Blockstrand of Ericsson also discussed the benefits of a well-established IoT ecosystem built on a common platform with common features, SLA, one-time integration and a common global business process.

For more information on the Ericsson IoT Accelerator, please check out our videos, use cases and more!

The event was beautifully summarized by Dr. Martin Wang of Lenovo who ended his speech with a poem, which in English translation went something like this:

Birds flying high in the sky
Flowers blossoming near the cliff
What we dream of is dangerous
Yet free.

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