Aeris acquires Ericsson’s IoT business to position as the market leader in IoT

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Aeris acquires Ericsson's IoT business to position as the market leader in IoT
(Logo by Ericsson)

Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator and Connected Vehicle Cloud businesses, as well as related assets, will be transferred to Aeris as part of the deal. Ericsson’s IoT employees will join Aeris upon the transaction’s completion, which is expected early next year.

Nearly 9000 enterprises use Ericsson IoT Accelerator to manage more than 95 million connected devices and 22 million eSIM connections globally. The Connected Vehicle Cloud is billed as the most comprehensive connected-car platform on the market, with automotive IoT leaders using it to link six million vehicles and counting across 180 countries.

Aeris, headquartered in California, was founded in 1996 and is an IoT expert, offering businesses intelligent IoT cellular connectivity. Its stack is being brought to the market by a network of channel partners, communications service providers, and direct sales organizations.

Aeris’ Intelligent IoT Network, which targets industrial verticals such as transportation, energy, automotive, and healthcare, enables communications service providers to monetize new services on top of IoT Accelerator connectivity. The company has already partnered with a number of communication service providers, including Softbank, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Vodafone, as well as car original equipment manufacturers.

Aeris’ and Ericsson’s IoT platforms will connect over 100 million IoT devices across 190 countries. This provides users with the consistency, reliability, and global scalability required to support the entire lifetime of IoT programs across numerous industries, use cases, and regions.

Aeris will simplify IoT for 9400 organizations through the transaction by offering them a worldwide, feature-rich platform with safe, dependable, and intelligent IoT devices. The sale of Ericsson’s IoT assets to Aeris will result in a partner that will continue to provide customers with an IoT connectivity platform while also offering new value-added services to assist increase IoT income streams.

Åsa Tamsons, Head of Business Area Technologies & New Businesses at Ericsson, says: “Aeris has been successful in extending its IoT solution offering beyond connectivity and has the right focus, assets, and capabilities to realize the full value creation potential of Ericsson’s IoT business and its strong market presence. Despite significant investments to address the fragmentation of the IoT market, Ericsson has only tapped into a limited part of the value chain, limiting the returns of such investments. The combined business will offer an unparalleled IoT platform for enterprises and new revenue streams for communication service providers, ultimately benefiting Ericsson’s customers. Aeris is a good home for our IoT business.”

Given the diversity of the cellular IoT market, a merger of two industry leaders is projected to accelerate the IoT market overall. IoT will be a critical and expanding component of the 4G and 5G markets.

Marc Jones, Chairman and CEO of Aeris, commented: “Building the best technology to support the success of our customers and driving innovation in the IoT space have always been at the forefront for Aeris. Our intelligent, software-defined IoT network and Ericsson’s leading connectivity management platform will provide the foundation to become a leading IoT technology stack in the industry. We look forward to bringing new, transformational IoT solutions and Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator and Connected Vehicle Cloud products to our customers.”

Ericsson’s assets and staff in its IoT division will be transferred to Aeris as part of the agreement. In addition, Ericsson wants to provide transition services to Aeris and will buy a modest share in the company. The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023.

Ericsson’s IoT unit has created a service supplying generic eSIMs unbundled from pre-selected service providers in collaboration with Thales.

The service, known as IoT Accelerator Device Connect, allows enterprises to quickly and instantly select one or more service providers at the time of device activation. This business model has the potential to reduce enterprises’ time to market for IoT implementations.

A generic profile for every enterprise eSIM is at the heart of IoT Accelerator Device Connect, allowing IoT devices and modules to be sent connection-ready without the need to pre-select mobile network providers. Manufacturers can ship a single worldwide stock-keeping unit (SKU), giving enterprises complete control over the service providers that best meet their deployment needs.

Enterprises can select the best partners for each device’s use case from Ericsson’s community of global service provider members using Ericsson IoT’s digital marketplace.

“IoT Accelerator Device Connect is a game-changer for the IoT ecosystem,” said Kyle Okamoto, general manager of IoT at Ericsson. “This significantly simplifies and fast-tracks the adoption of cellular IoT by offering generic eSIMs, giving enterprises more choices and flexibility. Businesses, service providers, and chipset and module vendors benefit from removed barriers and accelerated time to market. In addition, the enterprise experience is improved as companies can seamlessly deploy their eSIM devices anywhere in the world. One SKU, one platform, simple, instant and global – this is how you change the game.”

Thales is Ericsson IoT’s strategic technology partner, supplying device connect eSIMs, the generic connectivity profile, and remote SIM provisioning, allowing eSIMs to function with any participating IoT accelerator service provider.

“With more products becoming connected, it is key for IoT enterprises to scale up by streamlining device deployment,” said Emmanuel Unguran, vice president at Thales. “Thanks to Ericsson IoT Accelerator Device Connect, OEM enterprises for the first time can manufacture their eSIM-enabled devices without selecting a specific service provider at this stage. The service provider can be selected any time after manufacturing once the devices are deployed in the field. This greatly removes complexity in manufacturing and logistics and gives enterprises the flexibility they need.”

Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator platform includes IoT Accelerator Device Connect. For worldwide cellular connectivity, enterprises and connections rely on Ericsson’s expanding ecosystem of more than 35 service provider partners. Telstra has partnered with Swisscom as the first service provider to offer IoT Accelerator Device Connect to corporations worldwide.

“As a service provider partner for IoT Accelerator and IoT Accelerator Device Connect, we are excited to be one of the first operators to offer the service globally to enterprise customers,” said Mark Chapman, Telstra executive for industry and applications. “By facilitating enterprises’ ability to speed up their sales cycle and streamline their inventory management, we bring more business value to our customers.”

Felix Wunderer, head of IoT at Swisscom, added: “Switzerland is known for innovative enterprises always looking for product and service improvements. We see IoT Accelerator Device Connect as an important enabler that simplifies cellular IoT adoption processes and logistics, especially for enterprises rolling out large numbers of connected devices globally.”

Module suppliers are critical go-to-market partners who provide IoT Accelerator Device Connect to device manufacturers and enterprises. Ericsson tested and validated the service with module makers including Fibocom, U-Blox, Simcom, Sequans, and Nordic Semiconductor. IoT Accelerator Device Connect is compatible with their modules and is offered to device manufacturers.