DT, T-Mobile bring Skylo onto T-IoT Team

Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile expanding their IoT portfolio with a satellite option to provide customers with ubiquitious and seamless connectivity

Deutsche Telekom is continuing to build out its relationship with Japan’s SoftBank Group by linking up with satcomms challenger Skylo Technologies on international IoT connectivity.

Dennis Nikles, Chief Executive of Deutsche Telekom IoT, flagged on LinkedIn that he had met with Skylo CEO and co-founder Parthsarathi Trivedi to thrash out future plans for the tie-up, which is yet to be formally announced.

The two bosses had various “important topics” to discuss, wrote Nikles — among them “our partnership with Skylo and how we will use Skylo technology to enhance our T-IoT offering”.

T-IoT is the “simplified”, “global” enterprise IoT service package DT announced in February through a tie-up with T-Mobile US — and Nikles’s post suggests the two operators plan to add Skylo’s service to the offering’s footprint, said to cover 188 markets when launched.

“ The seamless integration of terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks… will become very important in the next years to provide ubiquitous connectivity, globally. ” - Nikles

Skylo, set up in 2017, is one of a fresh breed of ‘New Space’ players seeking to build ‘global’ IoT platforms for sensors and other connected devices, alongside the likes of Fleet Space Technologies, Lacuna Space, Swarm Technologies (now owned by SpaceX), and Astrocast — a partner of Telefónica.

Based in California, with offices in Finland and India, it does not plan to launch its own satellites, but instead markets wholesale Narrowband IoT services via existing geostationary orbit craft, connecting them to current devices “with one simple firmware update”.

Skylo’s existing telecoms partner ecosystem includes Indian telco BSNL, satco Inmarsat, and UK virtual network group Truphone. SoftBank led its Series-B funding round in 2020, adding it to a spread of high-altitude comms investments that also includes HAPSMobile and OneWeb.

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