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Sprint IoT Will Be Set On Fire By 5G, Execs Say

Sprint, one of the largest wireless providers in the U.S., is getting real about 5G and IoT opportunities and why it is placing its bets on the channel to help make these sales.

Wireless provider Sprint is debunking myths around 5G as it stands today, while painting a clear picture of how solution providers will be able to profit from 5G services and the IoT use cases that the next-generation wireless technology will facilitate.

5G is a powerful wireless technology, but realistically it's still in its infancy. Sprint called out its competitors—AT&T and Verizon, specifically—and said that unlike the early strategies of these carriers, Sprint's 5G story isn't centered on what its 5G can do in a fixed environment in a very small portion of a city. But rather, Sprint has focused its 5G strategy on what the technology will do for its customers' lives, said Ryan Yahrmatter, head of mobility channel sales for Sprint Business.

Sprint will be relying heavily—and sometimes exclusively—on its channel partners to help sell 5G, which will be a critical technology that will superpower IoT solutions, Yahrmatter said.

"We are going to need you to go out and sell this product," he told solution providers at The Channel Company's XChange 2019 conference in Las Vegas Sunday.

[Related: View From A Mid-Market Customer: Help Us Save Money, Gain Expertise] 

Mobile data will increase by 700 percent between 2017 and 2021, making now the perfect time for partners to start monetizing IoT and, when it's deployed, 5G, said Derrick Meer, head of channel sales, IoT, telecom, cloud and internet for Sprint.

"We aren't selling phones anymore. 5G will really enable MSPs to drive new business outcomes," Meer said.  

Esource Resources, an Indianapolis-based IT consulting firm, has many manufacturing and health-care customers. IoT solutions could be a compelling area of opportunity for the company, said CEO Eddie Rivers.

Esource Resources is still evaluating mobility solutions as a potential add to its portfolio.  

"We have right in our backyard a ton of hospitals as clients and we are their primary source for all things IT, so with that as a core customer base, [IoT solutions] could make a lot of sense," he said.

Sprint knows that many of its partners are brand-new to mobility sales, so that's why the Overland Park, Kan.-based provider stands ready to help partners "crawl, walk, run" when it comes to selling IoT solutions.

Sprint is offering purpose-built IoT solutions for the channel, including its Sprint IoT-in-a-box offering, an industry-specific monitoring solution that includes a gateway and sensors that can be applied in a variety of use cases, such as education and health care.

Sprint IoT-in-a-box also is a direct-to-channel offering, so partners won't be competing with Sprint's direct sales team.  

"We want to make it simple for the channel to sell residual-based IoT solutions," Meer said. "Partners can make unlimited income every month as long as their customer is on our service up to 25 percent."

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