DT gives IoT some TLC, FYI

Deutsche Telekom and the Fraunhofer-Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML have teamed up to start up the Telekom Open IoT Labs – aren’t you glad they found a catchier name?

As part of the initiative, six scientists from Fraunhofer IML, and three from Deutsche Telekom will team up to develop and test IoT solutions and get them market ready. As with every telco worth its salt, the team is trying to justify the IoT myth, and this initiative is focused on manufacturing, logistics and aviation sectors. And bringing in scientists from an organization with a very long name sounds very official.

“The Labs pair two fields of competence that have to be involved, together, in any successful IoT-related digitization,” said Professor Dr. Michael ten Hompel, MD of Fraunhofer IML.

“Fraunhofer is providing comprehensive expertise in hardware and applications in IoT environments. And Deutsche Telekom is providing its network expertise, together with IoT and cloud solutions, all of which are key elements for IoT-based digitization.”

The plan is relatively simple. Firstly, talk to people who think they might like this IoT thing to define these applications. Secondly, they will develop and producing hardware, software and connectivity prototypes. Finally, the team will figure out how to make them economically viable.

Initially, the pair will plan to concentrate on solutions based on NB-IoT technology, as is the wider trend in the industry. As there seems to be an appetite for the technology in the logistics sector, and the technology is applicable here, it is one of the logical places to start. And you know those Germans, they are very logical.

NB-IoT has been a big focus for the team in recent months, having launched a German nation-wide network earlier this year, and rolling out to other European markets. Austria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia were touted back in February, though it is the Netherlands which has caught the attention of the Telekom Open IoT Labs.

“At Telekom Open IoT Labs, we will not be pursuing basic research. Instead, we will offer companies specific benefits by solving their problems using IoT solutions,” said Anette Bronder, Head of Digital- and Security Department of Deutsche Telekom.

“All the technologies necessary for IoT solutions are in place. Now, we need to find application areas that will offer companies real value, in both the short and long terms.”

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