Twilio’s Programmable Wireless: An IoT service powered by T-Mobile
A few days ago, Twilio officially launched its Programmable Wireless service, a SIM based Internet of Things (IoT) offering powered by the wireless network of T-Mobile. Programmable Wireless is being positioned as a tool that developers can take full advantage of especially if they want to create services built around the concept of IoT.
As pointed out by Chetan Chaudhary, the general manager of IoT at Twilio, much has been said about the potential of IoT to empower not only end users but also business owners in the near future. However, IoT has been mostly inaccessible by today’s developers mainly because of a lack in connectivity service providers that can offer IoT tools designed specifically for developers.
That should start to change with the deployment of the Programmable Wireless offering. Because the service is housed in Twilio’s own platform, it should make it easier for millions of developers to gain access to the SIM based offering. What makes Twilio’s platform for developers so quick to use is that it basically supplies a single application program interface (API) that both wireless developers and app creators can utilize in order to send messages and make phone calls around the world. As of this writing, over a couple of million developers have already made full use of the Twilio platform in order to gain access to worldwide mobile operators’ voice call, text messaging, chat communications, and video services. Not many people may realize this, but some of the most popular brands have used the platform, including Airbnb, eBay, and Netflix, just to name a few.
It was almost two years ago when Twilio first confirmed the existence of the Programmable Wireless offering. During that time, the company also took the opportunity to announce to the rest of the world that it will be joining forces with the third biggest wireless carrier in the United States -- T-Mobile.
This collaboration should not be that surprising, given T-Mobile’s willingness to explore new territory, and in this case, a chance to push the envelope with regards to making the concept of the Internet of Things a reality among consumers and enterprise owners (preferably those that avail of T-Mobile’s range of wireless services). Early this year, the Uncarrier had launched what it claimed is the first ever narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) service plan in the United States. With this plan, users can enjoy access to the mobile operator’s NB-IoT service for just six bucks every year, for up to 12 megabytes per connected handset.