The Brazilian IoT Association (Associacao Brasileira de Internet das Coisas, ABINC) has signed an agreement with Sigfox to help stimulate use of the exclusive IoT network switched on by WND Brasil in September 2017. The IoT infrastructure now has a presence in practically all state capitals, as well as covering 70% of all cities with more than 200,000 inhabitants. In total, the network serves around 120 million people and has a strong presence in the state of Mato Grosso, where it helps to serve the regions agribusinesses.
Sticking with Brazil, Oi claimed a total of 1.516 million M2M subscribers at end-2017, a figure it hopes to increase to at least 2.5 million by end-2019. Luis Carlos Faray, the telco’s B2B IT director, told TeleTime that Oi was one of the first operators in Latin America to trial NB-IoT, while noting that no commercial launch is planned in the short-term as the operator is waiting for the arrival of cheaper IoT-compatible devices.
In terms of the wider picture, Brazilian telecoms regulator the National Telecommunications Agency (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes, Anatel) has reported that the total number of M2M accounts in the country reached 15.219 at 31 December 2017, broken down as 8.941 million ‘Standard’ connections and 6.279 million ‘Special’ connections. As per the regulator’s August 2014 reclassification, Special M2M devices are used without human intervention, and primarily transmit data for remote monitoring purposes.
Elsewhere in Brazil, TIM Brasil, Ericsson and the National Telecommunications Institute (Instituto Nacional de Telecomunicacoes, INATEL) have signed an agreement which will see them collaborate on the provision of smart cities and IoT solutions.
Over in Italy, TIM Brasil’s parent company Telecom Italia (TIM) has teamed up with Ericsson once again, to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Municipality of Genoa, the Liguria region and Liguria Digital to launch a ‘5G digital lab’ to explore the benefits of 5G technology and IoT for local citizens, businesses and public offices.
Tata Communications is working with Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL), one of India’s leading natural gas distribution companies, to deploy 5,000 smart gas meters in Mumbai. MGL’s new smart meters will be equipped with reliable, secure connectivity provided by Tata Communications’ public LoRaWAN network. As per Tata’s press release, it is expected that there will be round 130 million smart meters will be deployed across India during the next three years.
Finally, Ooredoo Oman has become the first operator in Oman and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to join the LoRa Alliance, a non-profit association driven to enable the global success of the IoT sector. The membership will allow the company to collaborate with other IoT service providers, chip manufacturers, solution developers and other businesses serving the industry’s requirement to push the technology forward.
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