SoftBank takes stake in 1NCE to drive Apac expansion

  • June 8, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

SoftBank has taken an equity stake in German firm 1NCE and signed an exclusive distribution deal covering the Asia-Pacific (Apac) region.

SoftBank, a Japanese communication and information technology service provider, will sell 1NCE IoT services exclusively in 19 Apac countries.

1NCE will open sales offices and technical operations in Singapore and Tokyo to expand its service capability to Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Since 2017, 1NCE has provided flat rate connectivity for IoT sensors across the world for the lifetime of the device. Eighty per cent of IoT projects require multinational deployments, but few mobile network operators have the capability to meet these demands. 1NCE, in partnership with operators, delivers fast, secure and reliable connectivity and software to more than 110 countries, with plans to expand its footprint to more than 140 by the end of 2022.

“1NCE is the only company that can deliver true cross-border, future-proof IoT connectivity without uncertainty, a perfect extension of SoftBank’s existing IoT portfolio,” said Daichi Nozaki, vice president at SoftBank. “We’ve closely followed 1NCE’s strong US launch earlier this year and expect the same explosive growth in the underserved Apac region.”

Alexander Sator, CEO at 1NCE, added: “With our existing Hong Kong office and with SoftBank’s support in establishing new offices in Singapore and Tokyo, we are supercharging the rollout of 1NCE’s lifetime, flat rate IoT in the region. And with multiple mobile network operators now invested in 1NCE, we have validation that we’re on the right track to become the global leader in IoT connectivity and software.”

And Matt Hatton from Transforma Insights said: “Asia is by far the biggest market for cellular-connected IoT. According to the Transforma Insights TAM Forecast database, collectively the 19 countries covered by the cooperation accounted for 57 per cent of cellular IoT annual shipments in 2021 and will represent more than half of the world’s cellular IoT connections for at least the next decade.”

SoftBank provides telecommunications services and combines them with technologies to develop and operate new businesses in Japan and globally.

1NCE provides connectivity and software for IoT at a global flat rate that is designed to last over the entire lifetime of an IoT device with a one-off payment of $10 for ten years, making IoT applications affordable and scalable for smart utilities, asset tracking, vehicle telematics and other uses. The company – founded in 2017 by Sator with Deutsche Telekom– is headquartered in Cologne, Germany, and has 200 staff in Amsterdam, Cologne, Hamburg, Hong Kong, London, Miami, Paris, Riga, Rome and Warsaw.