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IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

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27 Jul 2017

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica announced in its Q2 2017 results that its multinational group reached a total of 15.009 million active M2M SIMs connected over its networks at the end of June, up from 12.988 million twelve months earlier, whilst M2M subscription revenues reached EUR70 million (USD82 million) in the second quarter, up 25.5% year-on-year. Growth was supported by Telefonica’s ‘Smart M2M’ managed connectivity platform, which enables global digital IoT connectivity management, and also the end-to-end services catalogue (metering, retail, energy efficiency and connected car), the group added. Telefonica also highlighted its recent ‘Open Labs’ project launch for developing new advanced IoT networks/applications based on NB-IoT and LTE-M standards.

In the US, Globetouch has partnered Verizon Telematics to integrate the former’s ‘GControl’ platform with OnStar’s connected vehicle services to enable reliable, high-quality connectivity and regulatory compliance; the upgraded network solutions will be used by General Motors (GM) in connection with the continued global expansion of OnStar. Riccardo Di Blasio, CEO of Globetouch, said: ‘We are working directly with Verizon Telematics to take the complexity out of carrier and agreement management, enabling Globetouch to focus on building custom solutions that fit the needs of automotive OEMs around the world … providing a single point of integration for GM and other automotive OEMs.’

Bell Canada has formed a partnership with GridPoint to deliver smart energy management solutions (EMS) for Canadian businesses, enabling GridPoint’s technology solutions – collecting and displaying data in real-time through a software platform and mobile application – through Bell’s network. The out-of-the-box IoT solution will broaden Bell’s EMS portfolio by offering energy management ‘as a service’ to simplify the process of managing complex systems. The solution will be supported end-to-end by Bell, including the management of devices, applications and connectivity for customers. ‘Energy costs and environmental management are significant expenses for businesses of all kinds, and Bell is pleased to partner with GridPoint to offer flexible EMS IoT solutions that can be simply integrated into existing building management systems,’ said Nauby Jacob, Vice President, Products and Services for Bell Mobility. ‘Energy management is a core pillar within IoT,’ added Evan Conley, Director of Strategic Partnerships at GridPoint.

South Korea’s SK Telecom has announced progress in developing IoT security solutions, by unveiling a prototype for an ultra-small, quantum random number generator (QRNG) chip, which the carrier says could be embedded into a wide variety of IoT products, including autonomous vehicles, drones and smart devices. To date, the size and cost of QRNG chips has inhibited their widespread adoption. ‘We will continue to work with partners, both home and abroad, to accelerate the popularisation of quantum cryptography and strengthen our presence in the global market,’ a company statement said.

Seven Japanese companies and research institutions have formed the Flexible Factory Partner Alliance, namely vendors NEC, Fujitsu, Omron, Sanritz Automation and Murata Machinery, alongside Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute (Kyoto) and National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Tokyo) to promote new standards for coordination control technology. The partners aim to ensure stable communications in environments where various wireless systems coexist, as well as promote their use and further accelerate the adoption of wireless IoT systems in manufacturing facilities.

Indonesian network operator PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) has entered a two-year strategic partnership with Japanese technology provider Fujitsu to jointly develop businesses which utilise IoT and other advanced digital technologies, leveraging Telkom’s network infrastructure including that of its mobile division Telkomsel (Telekomunikasi Selular). The venture will focus on IoT applications in sectors including manufacturing, logistics, smart cities and healthcare.

Non-profit cableco R&D/standards organisation CableLabs is developing an open-source LoRaWAN platform for supporting cable operators’ IoT networking development, in particular to enable cablecos to develop IoT services compatible with other network protocols and devices. The initial platform offers specifications for multiple LoRa server components, including a LoRa App Server for the user-facing services and for managing users and applications, a network server to manage active nodes, a LoRA Gateway Bridge based on the UDP protocol, and a ‘LoRaWAN Go library’ (handling encryption). CableLabs’ cable network operator member companies are spread across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

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