TWLO IoT Example

http://fortune.com/2016/05/24/t-mobile-offers-internet-of-th…

This is a good example of Twilio and its place in the Internet of Things. Here T-Mobile is partnering with Twilio. The article goes on to explain how Verizon and At&T are trying to keep things more in house or using a Cisco or such. Verizon specifies they have 4,000 developers signed up for their program. I don’t know what the relevant number is for TWLO, but by comparison TWLO has over 1 million developers on its platform.

Not possible to tell if Verizon’s number is puny, or pretty good, because this is one niche and there is no break out of Twilio’s developers by niche.

Nevertheless, interesting aspect of the technology value chain in the IoT economy.

Tinker

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This is a good example of Twilio and its place in the Internet of Things.

Thanks, Tinker, I don’t understand everything they are doing but it’s a great find. By the way, I don’t think it’s Twilio providing a service to T-Mobile, it’s T-Mobile providing connectivity to Twilio for IoT applications.
Saul

Saul,

<<<I don’t think it’s Twilio providing a service to T-Mobile, it’s T-Mobile providing connectivity to Twilio for IoT applications.>>>

I believe you are correct. Seems to me if you are a Twilio developer, and you want cellular connectivity you use your Twilio API and get a Twilio SIM card to install into your electronic, and the SIM will simply work with T-Mobile. Simple, don’t have to think about it, don’t have to leave your desk to do so.

Whereas, Verizon, for example, hopes to use its larger market presence to draw developers with their custom APIs, requiring, say a Twilio developer to forego the Twilio option, get off their butt to enroll in a new program, and learn the new Verizon solution. Does not sound like the soundest of strategies for Verizon. Developers don’t care what network they use, as long as it works and is cost-effective. Developers will want the total ecosystem however that a Twilio can provide, if the developer is embedded in that ecosystem to begin with, without having to think about it, so I would think. I know I don’t like having to think about it.

I as well do not understand this market well enough, but generally speaking this is what it sounds like to me. Verizon, AT&T, thinking they can use their larger market presence to draw developers outside of their Twilio environment, get them to get out of their desks to learn the new system and to order the new SIM cards, with new billing system and invoices, etc., when cellular is needed in their app.

In general, such a strategy like this has historically not been successful for the most part for the incumbent unless Verizon or At&T network can provide something that T-Mobile cannot for the extra trouble involved, and from latest marketing materials from Sprint, and articles on T-Mobile, T-Mobile’s network is nearing (but not quite as good) as Verizon’s cellular network coverage.

I can see, for example, if a corporation has a large contract to provide its employees cellular service through Verizon, then they might want their IoT devices going through the same network, with the same vendor, but just conjecture.

Tinker

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Thanks, Tinker. Nice discussion.
Saul

This is interesting. I did a Google search for need API for cellular network. #1 that came up was Twilio, #2 was Verizon. So I checked out the Verizon link. It lists benefits, etc., so I clicked further for details. One link was its extensive network of technology partners that have contributed APIs to Verizon. Here is that extensive network of technology partners for Verizon:

http://developer.verizon.com/content/vdc/en/verizon-tools-ap…

Not a misprint, a total of TWO! Both I have never heard of before.

Again, I don’t know that much about this market, but I do know about ecosystems and technology partners. Two do not make either. Two are ad hoc efforts to create an ecosystem that has yet to develop.

Tinker

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http://developer.verizon.com/content/vdc/en/verizon-tools-ap…

I won’t belabor this conversation, but I looked a little further. Very few APIs are available with only basic functionality (and perhaps more is not needed, I don’t know). Half of the planned on APIs (only 4 total) were not available yet. So I hit support. The above link is the support page I got.

Absolutely blank. Perhaps it will have some data if you hit it, but I tried multiple time and refreshed it.

In the end, Verizon is not going to create an infrastructure to provide the support, and to constantly work on its APIs, to properly document them, integrate them, etc. At least not until they can make a lot more money off of it. By then of course it will be too late.

So moving on…

Tinker

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I do not think Verizon really cares about the API part of the market. They just want to carry the data. Maybe T-mobile gave Twlo a great price at this time but later on Verizon and AT&T will have to play in this market also, I suspect they will allow Twlo access to their network in the future. Its just a matter of time.

Andy