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Partnership to develop LoRa networks in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand

Steve Rogerson
September 8, 2016
 
Asian telecommunications group Axiata Berhad is collaborating with Atilze Digital, a wholly owned subsidiary of Yen Berhad, to trial, explore, develop and pursue IoT opportunities across south-east Asia, initially focused on connected cars and commercialising city-wide LoRa networks.
 
The one-year collaboration agreement signed last week in Kuala Lumpur will see the companies jointly implement proof-of-concept pilots for connected cars and LoRa IoT networks in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
 
The connected car applications include advanced diagnostics, predictive maintenance, real-time fleet monitoring and management, driving pattern analysis, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), in-car wifi, in-car infotainment, in-car e-commerce, electronic gate-less toll payments, and usage-based insurance.
 
The aim of the collaboration is to develop a strategic partnership between Axiata and Atilze to test and explore viable IoT applications as well as to pursue broader potential business opportunities in the IoT sector. Concurrently, the collaboration encourages partnerships with other stakeholders within the ecosystem who have ready-made IoT applications to integrate into Atilze’s LoRa network.
 
With this collaboration, the companies will work together to acquire partnerships and create collaborative ecosystems with other stakeholders in relation to the selected IoT systems for the city-wide LoRa networks.
 
“We see huge opportunities for IoT applications and services across south and south-east Asia, and this is why Axiata is the natural partner of choice for Atilze given the regional footprint and scale that Axiata has, as one of the leading telecommunications groups in the region,” said Gerard Lim, chief executive officer of Atilze. “We have already started introducing our IoT solutions to the market through Axiata and its operating companies as well as affiliates and early results have been very encouraging.”
 
The use of the LoRa network is the foundation of the targeted IoT applications under the agreement. LoRa, technology is said to provide lower cost connectivity with broad coverage and lower energy consumption. Hence, it is an environmental friendly and standardised technology backed by several global telecoms companies, designed to suit the demands of IoT applications and services.
 
“As Axiata transforms itself into a new generation digital company, we intend to lead the digital revolution and embrace new growth opportunities throughout the digital economy,” said Dominic Arena, group chief strategy officer of Axiata. “IoT is one key pillar of our Axiata 3.0 strategy and is an emerging digital services sector estimated to be worth potentially US$30bn by 2020 in Axiata’s current footprint alone based on our own analysis of several independent forecasts.”
 
He said that beyond the two billion people covered by its current footprint, there were several billion more prospective connected things, hence he foresees the IoT sector growing exponentially over the next two to five years with greatest economic potential in the B2B and B2B2C segments, through empowering enterprises and governments to digitise their own operations and provide innovative, integrated connectivity and analytics-based services to their end customers and citizens.
 
“With Atilze, we enter into a collaboration with an established IoT provider to explore growth opportunities, incubate and offer targeted IoT both within our existing footprint markets and also beyond where we currently operate,” he said.
 
Under the agreement, Atilze will supply the LoRa gateways, antenna systems, nodes and devices for use with existing and new sensor systems that form the basis of IoT applications in industries such as transportation, utilities, healthcare and smart cities. Atilze will also manage, operate and provide maintenance and support services for its city-wide LoRa network.
 
The initial IoT applications and services that will be implemented on the network will focus on connected cars, asset tracking, smart parking, smart metering and security services.
 
The IoT is seen as a major springboard for much of Asia’s high growth digital economy strategy. Independent studies have shown that the Asia Pacific region is leading the world in IoT adoption and that total spending for IoT in Asia Pacific is already over US$15bn in 2016, and could grow at a CAGR of around 35 per cent over the next five years.
 
“This is a very exciting time for us to partner with Axiata to carry out these IoT projects,” said Lim. “I trust that this partnership will deliver synergistic benefits to both Axiata and Atilze by leveraging on Axiata’s footprint across Asia as well as Atilze’s focus as an IoT services provider. Together with Axiata, Atilze looks forward to deliver a positive impact to the lives of millions of people across Asia.”
 
In parallel, Atilze has partnered with Cyberview to build, operate and commercialise a LoRa network in Cyberjaya that positions the Malaysian town as the first smart city in south-east Asia connected with a city-wide LoRa network.