#Asia #Japan 79: The Missing Link in The Internet of Things Ecosystem – Soracom


Soracom is one of those rare Japanese startups that has the potential to become a major global player and to change the way Internet of Things devices work.

The real deployment bottleneck in the Internet of Things is not the hardware or the software, but the connectivity. There are still relatively few inexpensive, flexible and scalable ways that IoT devices can transmit and receive data. Cellular connectivity is expensive, and WiFi is largely limited to stationary devices in homes and offices.

Today we sit down with Ken Tamagawa, CEO of Soracom, who explains his solution to this problem, and it’s a good one. Soracom operates a mobile virtual network and provides widespread connectivity for IoT devices for pennies a day, and since their infrastructure runs completely on AWS their costs are significantly lower than the competition’s.

Soarcom is extremely well-funded, and they are quickly expanding globally. You are going to be hearing a lot about them in the future, so let’s get to know them today.

I think you’ll really enjoy the interview.

Show Notes for Startups

What are  MVNOs and why are they important  for the Internet of Things
Why replacing hardware with software drives innovation
How Japan Taxi is taking advantage of the Internet of Things
The most surprising thing about going global from Japan
The future of the IoT in Japan
Why play and serendipity remain important even as a company scales

Links from the Founder

Everything you ever wanted to know about Soracom
Follow Ken on twitter @KenTamagawa
Friend him on Facebook
Check out the Soracom blog
Get started with the Soracom Developer Site
Safecast P2P Radiation Monitoring

 Leave a comment

Transcript from Japan

Welcome to Disrupting Japan- straight talk from Japan’s most successful entrepreneurs. I’m Tim Romero, and thanks for joining me.

One of the most important problems of the internet of things is not the internet or even the things. The problem lies in connecting those things to the internet. In fact, much of the promise of the internet of things is based on the idea of thousands of connected devices working together. It turns out that building the hardware and writing the software has proven to be much simpler than developing an affordable, scalable, and secured network that enables these devices to communicate with home base and with each other.

Some applications use WiFi and that’s a great solution for stationary devices that operating homes or offices, or anywhere else where you can be certain to have a connection. But, many devices are mobile or need to operate whether there may not be a WiFi connection. Some applications paired with cellphones and that works well for personal devices and wearable’s and things will carry around with us. But for things like sensors and inexpensive autonomous devices, well, having a cellphone plan for each of them is simply cost prohibitive. So, right now, connectivity is the real problem for a lot of internet of things applications.

Well, Soracom has a solution and a damn good one in my opinion.

Today, we sit down with Ken Tamagawa, CEO of Soracom to talk about their solution which involves slicing up mobile bandwidth and using Amazon web services as their backbone and this enables a pay as you go remote communication package for pennies a day.

We also discuss Soracom’s global ambitions. Soracom is one of the few Japanese start-ups to raise a round of more than 20 million dollars and a lot of that is targeted on their global expansion. Soracom has something that is truly unique and you’ll be hearing more about Soracom in the years to come.

But Ken tells us story much better than I can. So, let’s hear from our sponsor and get straight to the interview.


Tim:                     I’m sitting here with Ken Tamagawa of Soracom. Soracom is a communications platform for internet of things devices but you can expl…

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