Twilio woos developers with add-on marketplace and SIM as a service

Cloudy comms unit joins T-Mobile uncarrier push

Twilio SIGNAL

On day one of its SIGNAL Developer Conference in San Francisco, cloudy comms firm Twilio has announced a new marketplace for add-ons to its API and a new SIM-card-as-a-service offering to let IoT devices communicate via T‑Mobile.

The add-ons marketplace, currently in beta, hosts 20 pieces of code that can be integrated by the Twilio API to augment its communications service, like analytics or transcription. Early adopters include IBM's Watson, which contributed three add-ons, Whitepages, and a few options from Wolfram for its cloud services.

"With today's announcement of Add-ons, we want to help our community do more with less code," said Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio.

"Every day, builders use Twilio in combination with other developer technologies to better reach their customers. Our community of developers can now access these partners' features without the heavy lifting of maintaining different integrations."

Lawson also showed off a new partnership with T‑Mobile, with the latter firm offering Twilio's million-plus developers LTE mobile SIM cards that can be integrated into Internet of Things devices using Twilio's APIs.

Dubbed Twilio Programmable Wireless, the SIM cards will cost $2 per SIM per month, with data costing $0.10 per megabyte. There's also a high-bandwidth plan costing $25 for the first gigabyte and $15 for each subsequent one.

"While the old-guard carriers stifle innovation and try to lock up all the value for themselves, T‑Mobile has a different philosophy; we openly partner with world-class companies, like Twilio, to empower entrepreneurs and ignite wireless innovation," said Mike Sievert, T‑Mobile's COO, in a canned statement.

There are still some rough edges to move out but the SIM cards will be widely available by Q4 of this year, although attendees got them as a freebie for attending the show. ®


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