TOKYO -- NTT Communications debuts a network service in July tailored to the "internet of things" with a low price designed to lure small and midsized businesses interested in the field.
The Nippon Telegraph & Telephone unit's 100-yen (89 cents) monthly service likely will put pressure on prices across the board, helping to boost use of the internet of things. The Japanese telecom company will borrow networks from mobile phone carriers worldwide to run its service, which initially will be available in 25 countries including Japan, China, South Korea, the U.S. and Germany.
The service limits data usage to 1 megabyte per month, making it best suited for devices that infrequently transmit low levels of data. Intended uses include remote monitoring of household appliances and vending machines as well as tracking the whereabouts of children and the elderly. NTT Communications hopes to connect 1 million devices by fiscal 2020.
Kyocera Communication Systems and Tokyo-based startup Soracom offer similar services. But the Kyocera subsidiary's 100-yen annual fee is available only to customers that connect more than 1 million devices, and the service's applications are limited due to its slow transmission speed of 100 bits per second. NTT Communications will offer the 100-yen monthly rate no matter how few devices a customer connects.
Network services for the internet of things are more widespread outside of Japan, thanks to companies such as French communications startup Sigfox, which provided its technology to Kyocera. NTT Communications initially will target Japanese companies overseas by promoting its low price, high quality and network speed.