Twilio, T-Mobile Want to Connect Developers to Internet of Things

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Cloud communications firm Twilio this week teamed up this week with T-Mobile for Programmable Wireless, a program intended to make it easier—and less expensive—for developers to connect with the Internet of Things (IoT).

"Modernizing communications and moving it into the realm of software has been Twilio's mission from day one," CEO Jeff Lawson said in a statement. "With enterprises needing to manage mobility more than ever before and the unrealized promise of IoT, there's never been a better time to lift the barriers on cellular communications."

Unveiled at Tuesday's Signal conference in San Francisco, the program requires a Twilio SIM card, plugged into an IoT device. The new Devices API then lets developers provision SIM cards within applications, and helps control activation, data usage, and bandwidth limits.

"We're bringing our wildly successful un-carrier strategy to developers," T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert said. "While the old-guard carriers stifle innovation and try to lock up all the value for themselves, T-Mobile has a different philosophy."

Pricing for Programmable Wireless starts at $2 per SIM per month; data usage starts at $0.10 per MB metered across a pool of devices. For high bandwidth, data usage costs $25 for the first GB and $15 for each subsequent GB.

Ahead of Programmable Wireless's fourth-quarter release, Twilio this week announced Add-ons, available from the Twilio Marketplace. Businesses can now access partner technologies pre-loaded with the Twilio API—including two new IBM Watson offerings.

Marking the first time Watson services have been made available on a third-party platform, Message Sentiment and Message Insights use natural language processing to understand sentiment, keywords, entities, and high-level concepts from texts.

"We are motivated by what developers are creating with Watson technology, and are constantly seeking new ways to help them build and innovate," IBM Watson general manager David Kenny said in a statement. "By joining the Twilio Marketplace, we have opened another avenue for many more developers to harness the power of Watson."

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