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Deutsche Telekom launches multi-IoT platform

William Payne
October 13, 2016

German telecoms provider Deutsche Telekom has launched a cloud based platform to unify IoT cloud platforms from a number of well known industry suppliers. Named "The House of IoT", Deutsche Telekom's multi-IoT platform will begin with the Azure IoT Suite from Microsoft, followed by Cisco Fog and the IoT platform from Huawei.

The company is aiming to overcome what it sees as an obstacle to developing IoT applications and technologies: too many different standards and platforms. The new "House of IoT" platform has been developed at the company's data centre in Biere, and will be hosted on its House of Clouds platform.

"According to a study by PAC, we've only captured five percent of the potential of the IoT. This is due, among other factors, to the highly fragmented market, which requires users to manage many different specialist suppliers," said Anette Bronder, Director of T-Systems' Digital Division, at the launch of the multi-IoT cloud. "We now offer a scalable, pan-industry platform, together with plug-and-play starter packages to help companies begin using the IoT."

The multi-IoT platform plays the role of interpreter and distributor, collecting data from a variety of hardware, such as sensors and machinery, and routing it through gateways to the preferred platform for processing.

Deutsche Telekom operates the platforms as a data custodian. All data is subject to strict German privacy and data protection laws. Only authorized users of the multi-IoT platform have access to the data, along with operator T-Systems.

Deutsche Telekom also offers IoT packages to give companies a jump start in the Internet of Things. The standard package for predictive maintenance, for example, includes sensors for recording machine conditions, connectivity for transmitting the data to the cloud, use of the IoT platform and presentation of the data in a web-based dashboard.

In the coming months, Deutsche Telekom plans to upgrade this standard package with a data analytics service. According to Deutsche Telekom, several elevator manufacturers are already using this predictive maintenance solution to maintain their systems.

According to the latest Internet of Things (IoT) benchmark from Machina Research, Deutsche Telekom is one of the top players among IoT providers. The market intelligence company assessed the IoT offerings from 17 international telecommunications providers and gave top marks to Deutsche Telekom for its end-to-end approach: a multi-IoT service platform; strategic partnerships and IoT industry solutions; and network, integration and consulting services from a single source were listed by Machina Research as the outstanding features of Deutsche Telekom's IoT offerings.

"Customers benefit from highly scalable, secure, end-to-end solutions based on state-of-the-art technology," says Godfrey Chua, Principal Analyst at Machina Research and author of the study "Internet of Things (IoT), Communications Service Provider Benchmarking 2016." Deutsche Telekom is a serious contender in the global race of telecommunications providers for leadership in the IoT market, he noted.

Deutsche Telekom is also preparing a bid for German web hosting provider Host Europe Group (HEG). Host Europe is one of Europe's largest hosting providers, and has been put up for sale by its current owner, private equity firm Cinven. HEG is valued at around €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion). Cinven has indicated that it wants to complete a sale by Christmas.

Deutsche Telekom is making its bid in partnership with US private equity fund Hellman and Friedman. A rival bid is being prepared by United Internet, who have teamed up with US fund Warburg Pincus.