LIVE FROM MOBILE 360 DIGITAL SOCIETIES, KUALA LUMPUR: The GSMA expanded its Asia-Pacific IoT Partnership Programme to 31 mobile operators across 15 countries, which it claimed makes it the largest IoT community in the region.

The programme brings together operators and partners including developers, manufacturers and system integrators, to share best practice, discuss challenges and review progress on the development of IoT across APAC. The initiative backed the development, design and funding of nine new IoT labs by seven operators in the region to help develop related products and services.

In a statement, the industry body said the labs are a key mechanism for collaboration, encouraging joint development of new use cases, services and applications that are enabling IoT innovations to be effectively deployed.

Julian Gorman, head of GSMA in APAC, said: “The programme has doubled in size in less than a year, and that is testament to the support, engagement and commitment of the mobile operator community which are collaborating closely with their partners to lead the expansion and growth of IoT across the region.”

APAC impact
Since launch in October 2018, the programme has encouraged more than 120 companies to work with operators, the GSMA stated.

A series of workshops have been held, exploring key industry topics including mobile IoT, AI and 5G, along with offering capacity building for local regulators and stakeholders.

The trade body claimed APAC has the largest IoT market in the world, accounting for around 40 per cent of total global spending on the sector in 2018. It added the region is the fastest-growing IoT market in the world, and cited GSMA Intelligence figures forecasting connections will hit 11 billion by 2025, when the market will be worth $386 billion.

LPWA or mobile IoT network connections have also been driven primarily by the region: the Association cited ABI Research figures stating APAC accounts for nearly 97 per cent of all NB-IoT connections.

Mobile IoT networks are being merged into 5G standards to enable low-latency, massive IoT and large bandwidth, the organisation stated. It added 37 of the world’s 119 mobile IoT networks are deployed across 15 countries in the region, with China alone accounting for 40 per cent of global LPWA connections in 2018.