Singtel, Microsoft to launch AI-powered IoT network cloud services

Image courtesy of Sander Weeteling

Singtel, in collaboration with Microsoft, announced plans to launch an AI-powered IoT network over Microsoft Azure – a unified and programmable platform that combines intelligent connectivity with the cloud for IoT. Through integrating Singtel’s IoT network functions into Microsoft Azure’s core cloud capabilities, IoT applications can flexibly migrate from devices, to networks and to clouds seamlessly. This collaboration overcomes traditional constraints, empowering enterprises to lower costs, improve performance, and accelerate digital transformation.

With computing powered by Microsoft Azure, the platform will also tap into Azure’s ever-expanding set of cloud services including IoT Hub, IoT Edge and other machine learning and cognitive services to extend cloud intelligence and analytics to devices. With insights-driven AI layered into the network, the platform delivers timely intelligence on the performance of applications and devices to facilitate better business decisions. This simplifies and facilitates the management, development and deployment of IoT devices and solutions in the cloud at scale. 

“The platform combines the strengths of Singtel’s extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft’s cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications,” said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. “Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises’ digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected path for IoT innovators to scale globally, and the smartest path to cross-device synergy in an instrumented, connected world.”

“The Internet of Things is all around us… and this is giving rise to a new wave of tech innovation called edge computing. Our goal is to empower Singtel by enabling the intelligent edge, with artificial intelligence and our 20+ year heritage in enterprise security, for the next frontier of innovation in Singapore and across the globe,” said Mr Alberto Granados, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Operations at Microsoft Asia Pacific.  

Enterprises can programme and leverage the platform’s intelligent IoT capabilities to implement network policy control functions. These include network on-demand; Virtual Private Network on-demand; rate limiting or setting the cap on the use of an IoT device; locking an IoT device’s SIM card; blacklisting or preventing an IoT device from activating and predicting bandwidth demand.

An example of application of intelligent connectivity would be a logistics company using the platform to maintain a flawless and uninterrupted cold-chain operation. The platform enables the company to monitor the routes and conditions of mobile, refrigerated products using a combination of IoT sensors and on-demand IoT networks. It autonomously adjusts levels of service and cost to ensure adequate temperature, humidity, and location monitoring to ensure successful and timely deliveries. Without human intervention, the platform optimises the collection of relevant information, identifies potential disruptions and recommends ideal responses to possible contingencies.

This end-to-end framework from devices to cloud, through the network, is a big step towards enabling a 5G-orchestrated network for IoT.