SoftBank Launches Major IoT Expansion in APAC With 1NCE Partnership

Adgully Bureau |

SoftBank Corp. has unveiled plans to launch a comprehensive expansion of its global IoT business in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region starting in October 2023. This expansion will encompass 19 countries and regions, including Japan. SoftBank's primary focus in this initiative will be the promotion of IoT services, particularly the "1NCE IoT Flat Rate" offered by German company 1NCE GmbH, targeting enterprise customers. The telecom giant aims to secure a total of 2 million 1NCE IoT Flat Rate connections across APAC and other regions by the end of the 2025 fiscal year, which concludes on March 31, 2026.

As part of its "Beyond Carrier" growth strategy, SoftBank is diversifying beyond its core telecommunications business and is actively driving digital transformation (DX) in various industry sectors. Within the IoT domain, SoftBank made an equity investment in 1NCE GmbH in April 2022 and secured an exclusive agreement to market the 1NCE IoT Flat Rate in 19 APAC markets. The 1NCE IoT Flat Rate offers highly cost-effective global IoT connectivity, allowing customers to roam on 1NCE's extensive global network spanning over 160 countries and regions at no additional cost. This service has gained traction among enterprise customers, including Japanese companies like Pocketalk Corporation.

While SoftBank initially focused on promoting the 1NCE IoT Flat Rate within Japan, it is now broadening its reach to include 19 countries and regions in APAC, intensifying its global IoT business efforts. The company will bolster its IoT salesforce by quadrupling its team, launch a dedicated online IoT shop in partnership with 1NCE, and enhance advertising and marketing campaigns across the region. In addition, SoftBank will leverage its IoT platform to propose solutions related to smart meters and work towards further expanding its global IoT business presence.

SoftBank is committed to building a comprehensive support framework to address the challenges faced by various industries in different countries and regions. The expansion of its global IoT business, starting with the APAC region, aligns with SoftBank's broader "Beyond Japan" initiative aimed at expanding its global presence.

Daichi Nozaki, Senior Vice President overseeing the global business at SoftBank Corp., expressed enthusiasm about the comprehensive expansion of the company's IoT business in the APAC region. Nozaki stated, "We’re extremely pleased to be able to fully expand our IoT business in the APAC region. While we’ve been providing IoT services primarily in Japan and contributing to the DX of various industries there, going forward we’ll collaborate with strong business partners like 1NCE and leverage our expertise gained in the Japan market to fully establish ourselves in APAC. Doing this, we’ll work to contribute to the digitalization of the entire region and solve social issues."