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Twilio and T-Mobile US Partner to Introduce New Developer Platform for NB-IoT Network

Twilio Introduces the Narrowband Developer Platform for Innovators Comprised of SIMs, Developer Kit and Breakout Software Development Kit

T-Mobile’s First U.S. Narrowband IoT Network Optimized for IoT Devices Sending Small and Infrequent Packets of Data

Building on their two-year partnership, Twilio, the leading cloud communications platform and T-Mobile announced that Twilio has created a new developer platform for the T-Mobile Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network. Twilio Narrowband is the first developer platform for NB-IoT in the U.S., a cellular low-power wide-area network technology, which will substantially reduce prices and increase battery life for intermittent low-bandwidth connections. Twilio also announced the Twilio Breakout Software Development Kit (SDK) to help developers start taking advantage of the optimizations offered by NB-IoT networks.

NB-IoT was designed for the majority of IoT devices that don’t need a lot of bandwidth. With NB-IoT, devices can consume a fraction of the battery power they do with previous cellular M2M devices, enabling connectivity at a fraction of the cost. NB-IoT is built for smaller data packets, such as timestamps, GPS coordinates and status updates for a variety of industries, from smart metering to health device monitoring. With the power and cost efficiencies generated by NB-IoT, the market is ripe to open for new categories of lower cost, battery efficient internet-connected devices that don’t exist today. T-Mobile is the first to deploy a NB-IoT network in the U.S., which launched nationwide in July.

“Together with Twilio, the Un-carrier is unleashing developers and building an entirely new ecosystem for IoT solutions. I can’t wait to see what awesomeness they create!” said John Legere, Chief Executive Officer of T-Mobile. “Once again, T-Mobile is at the forefront of innovation, enabling a world where anything and everything can be connected. The possibilities are endless!”

Twilio Narrowband Developer Platform is comprised of three components:

  • Narrowband SIMs: Since the introduction of Twilio Programmable Wireless two years ago, Twilio has been focused on getting developers started quickly with cellular connectivity. Instant self-service onboarding, no contracts required and two-day shipping in the U.S.
  • Twilio Narrowband IoT Developer Kit: A limited supply developer kit including an Arduino-based development board and Grove sensors specifically chosen for innovative low-powered wide-area solutions. It also features the u-blox LTE Cat NB1 SARA‑N410 hardware module, certified for the T-Mobile Narrowband network.
  • Twilio Breakout SDK: Twilio Breakout SDK reduces the complexity of hardware and heterogeneity of different networks, allowing developers to focus on creating their narrowband IoT device deployment. The Breakout SDK handles tasks such as network registration and intelligently optimizes communication between devices and cloud services. based on the network capability requirements across IP, Non-IP and SMS.

“We see Twilio as part of a new wave of IoT connectivity providers that is disrupting the market by reducing the friction for developers. We think its offer is especially well suited to the Narrowband market, where operational costs need to be kept extremely low," said Tom Rebbeck, research director, Enterprise & IoT at Analysys Mason. "The market for NB-IoT connectivity is potentially very large - possibly exceeding 3 billion connections by 2026 with potential applications in consumer electronics, utilities, agriculture, smart cities and other vertical markets. The new models that are built for scale, such as Twilio's, are likely to become the standard for much of the market.”

“The introduction of T-Mobile’s Narrowband IoT network provides a tremendous opportunity for developers who are innovating and building new categories of devices that don’t exist today,” said Chetan Chaudhary, general manager and vice president of IoT at Twilio. “By applying Twilio’s proven approach for cellular IoT connectivity to Narrowband, it will remove barriers so developers can focus on building devices and dreaming up new use cases that don’t yet exist. We can’t wait to see what you build!”

The two companies first teamed up back in 2016 with the launch of developer tools for cellular IoT, opening up the opportunity for IoT solution developers to build in cellular connectivity for the first time.

Pricing and Availability
Twilio’s Narrowband Developer Platform will be available from Twilio in the U.S. for beta access in early 2019 and will be offered in three pricing plans:

  • Developer plan for $2 per month
  • Production annual plan for $10/year or $5/year at scale
  • Production five-year plan for $8/year or $4/year at scale

Source: T-Mobile media announcement
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