KPN and China Unicom sign IoT network partnership


KPN and China Unicom have signed a partnership that will allow IoT-focused enterprise customers to access each other’s networks.

The two operators’ customers will be able to distribute IoT products and services in their respective markets using an e-SIM card. A single management portal will allow them to track what they distribute.

The first KPN and China Unicom customers will be able to start using the service from the end of this year.

Carolien Nijhuis, Managing Director of KPN IoT said: “This agreement will enable our customers to become global IoT players, since we are able to handle international requests quickly and easily.”

The deal mirrors one China Unicom struck with Deutsche Telekom in February.

Rival China Telecom signed a similar deal in June with Orange Business Services.

In spite of today's announcement, KPN has formerly warned of potential dangers in using e-SIMs. A report by the operator from earlier this year said further safeguards within the technology were needed to protect users.

Both China Unicom and KPN offer a range of technologies to connect IoT products in their local markets, including across 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

KPN is planning to roll out LTE-M later this year after trialling the technology in 2016. It also launched a nationwide LoRa network in 2016.