Expanding Its IoT Strategy, in India and Globally, Tata acquires IoT Company Teleena


Over the past decade, Tata Communications has evolved from a wholesale service provider serving the Indian market to a global provider of digital services to other service providers and enterprises worldwide.

With its roots in the emerging markets, and headquartered in Mumbai and Singapore, it has more than 8,500 employees across 38 countries, with a valuation of $2.9 billion, listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India as the flagship telecoms arm of the $103.3 billion Tata Group.

Tata has been making investments in India in the IoT and Industrial IoT industries, supporting the more than 100 smart city initiatives planned in the country, funded by the government and public-private partnerships.

Earlier this year, we wrote about Tata’s $100M investment in LoRa networks, and with its latest acquisition of Teelna, after initially investing in the company in 2017 and becoming its largest shareholder, Tata is expanding its offering with additional networking technologies and full end-to-end solutions capabilities.

The Netherlands-based Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity specialist, Teelena is a mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE) which also brings Tata full access to its technology portfolio, including its Operational Support System / Business Support System (OSS/BSS) solution, and the expertise of Teleena’s mobility and IoT industry specialists.

VS Shridhar, SVP & Head of IoT leading a $100M investment in the country, said in a recent interview with India’s Economic Times, “IoT is commonly perceived to provide operational efficiencies and reduction in costs for service providers, but it is also important to bear in mind that it can have significant impact on human welfare, especially in the emerging countries. Food, clean water, electricity, access to healthcare – things we take for granted in developed countries may be a struggle in the developing nations and IoT can help tremendously.”

Shridhar has lead partnerships with utilities, including Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Co. Ltd. (JUSCO)., implementing thousands of smart street lights across India, which utilities, their customers and municipal governments can get use for real time reports which they can use to control the light intensity to save energy and reduce costs, while making streets safer. Another partnership has been announced with Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) to deploy 5,000 smart gas meters in Mumbai.

Tata Communication’s LoRaWAN network is a super low-power, secure, bi-directional, communication solution, pre-configured with plug-and play connectivity for different industries.

As pilots are growing into full blown implementation, timing is good for Tata to invest more in Teleena’s complementary technology, which includes the very valuable OSS/BSS component making it possible to provide managed services for IoT and Industrial IoT (IIoT). Tata plans to cover most of India by 2019, contributing significantly to the company’s revenue in the country, but the real growth may come from global expansion which Teleena’s technology and talent in place.

With the acquisition of Teleena, Tata is offering customers choices of network types, whether unlicensed spectrum based (LoRa) or cellular based (which can include NB-IoT).

All is part of Tata Communications’ MOVE platform, which Tata says “enables enterprises and device manufacturers to capture, move and manage information worldwide through borderless, secure and scalable connectivity.”

Tata sees IoT for smart cities as a “Civic Operating System, a new Civic OS,” according to a report they published earlier this year.

The Civic OS is defined as “the ability of humans and machines to coexist and to cohabit and communicate seamlessly - all part of the definitive roadmap of the fourth industrial revolution unfurling at the moment,” and “represents a fundamental change in norms and mores in society: a change in the way we conduct both our businesses and our relationships.”

Tata is clearly on a mission to improve lives through smart cities, smart factories, smart homes, and smartphones, and are investing across multiple fronts to make this a reality.

Teleena’s customers will transition to become Tata Communications’ customers, and all Teleena employees will become Tata Communications’ employees.

Anthony Bartolo, Chief Product Officer, Tata Communications said, “The growth rate in the global mobility and IoT market is phenomenal: by 2021, enterprises’ spending on mobility alone is set to surpass USD 1.7 trillion,” He further added, “Our vision is to create an environment where anything can be ‘born connected’. Providing everyone and everything in the world with seamless connectivity globally will support businesses’ digital transformation. The combination of the Tata Communications MOVE™ platform and Teleena’s technology and talent will help us fulfill this vision and accelerate our growth in the mobility and IoT market.”  

Kim Bybjerg, CEO of Teleena, said: “I’m excited about this next stage on our 10-year journey because just like Teleena, Tata Communications is fast-moving, ambitious and focused on innovation,”. He added, “I look forward to working with Anthony and his team to help Tata Communications’ customers make the most of the transformational potential of IoT and mobility and support the company’s mission to become one of the leading players in this industry.”

Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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