IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

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3 May 2018

Croatia’s Hrvatski Telekom (HT) announced the commercial launch of its NB-IoT network on 2 May 2018, claiming a country first, with new NB-IoT-based service tariffs now available to its customers. HT’s press release says that the low power wide area (LPWA) technology will enable ‘an extremely large number of connected IoT devices on the Croatian market in the short term’ whilst supporting the local development of ‘a large number of IoT solutions for domestic and foreign markets’. HT highlights that NB-IoT is designed for devices that do not have the need for continuous network connectivity and send extremely small amounts of data traffic without the need for SMS, MMS or voice communication. The telco identified a wide range of suitable NB-IoT applications for business and consumer customers, such as smart parking, waste management, air quality monitoring, asset and consignment tracking, smart meters, smart home systems, health monitoring and others. Ahead of its commercial launch, HT completed NB-IoT network testing in Koprivnica during 2017.

Multinational M2M/IoT connectivity provider Telenor Connexion, part of Norway’s Telenor Group, has announced passing ten million installed SIM cards, which it says ranks it among the top three IoT operators in Europe and among the top ten in the world. Swedish-headquartered Telenor Connexion has accelerated its growth rate in recent years, shipping three million SIM cards in 2017 alone before reaching the ‘ten million deployed’ figure in April this year, noting that its number of connected devices worldwide now exceeds Telenor Group’s ‘traditional’ mobile subscriptions in Scandinavia. Telenor Connexion specialises in advanced or international use cases for enterprises with large fleets of devices, serving a variety of industry verticals with customers such as Volvo, Hitachi, Husqvarna, Scania and Verisure Securitas Direct. In 2017 it added new partners including Amazon Web Services, Capgemini, SECO and HMS.

South Africa’s Vox Telecom will ramp up its IoT solutions range further this year, having launched several new products in the last week, reports Vox has initially partnered with Sigfox IoT network provider Sqwidnet, but has positioned itself as a network neutral platform provider and will support NB-IoT, LTE-M1, LoRa and Sigfox technologies. In the farming segment, Vox is currently using IoT for ‘animal management, reproductive control, fattening management, and in-heat and calving detection’ via smart collars with multiple sensors, whilst targeting various other segments such as asset tracking, utilities, security, transport fleets, etc., supported by advanced analytics/big data systems.

Lastly, Sigfox USA has launched Coverage as a Service (CaaS), a network solution providing on-demand connectivity for US customers. The company announced that CaaS is a subscription service including network management, monitoring and support, which can be tailored to fit the specific needs of the customer, ‘installed wherever coverage is needed with the capability to connect thousands of devices, at the same per device subscription fee as the global public [Sigfox] network’. Sigfox added that CaaS is ‘available for both indoor and outdoor deployments … to address various areas of need, including rural, remote, and deep indoor spaces in areas not yet covered by the Sigfox USA public LPWAN’. CaaS customers get a self-install kit including a Sigfox base station, access to Sigfox cloud, remote equipment monitoring, remote troubleshooting support, demonstration IoT devices, cellular backhaul, and accessories such as cables, connectors, outdoor waterproofing kit, antenna, and more.

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Croatia, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Hrvatski Telekom (HT), Sigfox USA, SqwidNet, Telenor Connexion, Telenor Group, Vox Telecom