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IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

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24 May 2018

Telia Sweden announced today the nationwide launch of its NB-IoT network, based on its 4G LTE network with coverage of more than 99.9% of Sweden’s population and over 95% of national territory. Providing IoT device data rates of 200kbps, the new NB-IoT network was previously tested last year in locations including Vasteras (in a project with utility firm Malarenergi) and in Lund within the framework of the innovation project Future By Lund. Telia’s statement today claimed the first nationwide NB-IoT coverage in Sweden, and added: ‘Together with our partners, we are creating completely new opportunities for the smart community. We have just started cooperation with Kraftringen, where we via NB-IoT collect data from district heating, water, gas and electricity meters from places where it has not previously been possible technically or too costly. This enables the energy companies to, for example, quickly detect underground water leaks, which would otherwise risk continuing and result in both wastage of drinking water and damage to surrounding infrastructure.’

Orange Slovakia has begun a LTE-M pilot network development project, designed to become one of the supporting elements for the ‘Live Object’ platform providing data collection and analysis alongside managing IoT devices, reports. The Live Object platform has been developed by parent Orange Group and is currently used to manage IoT devices connected via LoRaWAN, but in the future the group aims to apply the platform across any device connectivity including LoRa, GSM, LTE-M, Wi-Fi and others.

Brazilian cellco Vivo (part of the Telefonica group), Ericsson, Raizen and EsalqTec have announced a ‘national first’ agreement to utilise the 450MHz band for 4G LTE to develop IoT in agribusiness. Telefonica’s release said that the project in the region of Piracicaba, Sao Paulo state, was important as agribusiness represents one of the main engines of national GDP, and generates around a third of all jobs in Brazil.

Russia’s Beeline is testing NB-IoT services for housing utilities in the Marino area of Moscow, TelecomDaily reported. Beeline has created an open test site (a ‘smart quarter’) for IoT technologies for housing and communal services with 800MHz NB-IoT connectivity, and is inviting third parties to carry out testing using the network.

MTN South Africa has announced the full launch of the Cisco Jasper Control Center automated IoT connectivity platform for business customers across its nationwide mobile network, BusinessTech reports. MTN – which first announced its partnership with Cisco Jasper in December 2017 – says that initial customer adoption has indicated strong demand for Control Center across all industries, with particular interest from the connected car, vehicle tracking, building security & automation, and logistics sectors.

NetComm Wireless has joined the Ericsson IoT Accelerator platform to facilitate the adoption of Massive IoT. NetComm Wireless’ industrial grade 4G LTE M2M devices integrate Lightweight M2M (LwM2M) and now interoperate with the Ericsson IoT platform to streamline device onboarding worldwide. Timo Brouwer, COO at NetComm, said: ‘The new collaboration will help to address the fragmentation challenges that the IoT ecosystem has faced from the outset and we’re pleased to join Ericsson in enabling the uptake of IoT by operators and enterprises more seamlessly.’ The LwM2M devices are certified for deployment in Europe, North America, the UAE, Southeast Asia, Japan and Australia.

Deutsche Telekom has unveiled end-to-end IoT service bundles for asset tracking and industrial machine monitoring in Germany. The bundles contain hardware, mobile connectivity, cloud storage, and a user web portal, with an ‘IoT Service Button’ e.g. for one-click spare parts ordering. An essential component of the IoT bundles is access to Deutsche Telekom’s IoT platform – the ‘Cloud of Things powered by Cumulocity’ – which it operates in collaboration with Software AG.

Russian fixed telecoms operator MTT has announced it is entering the LoRaWAN IoT sector, aiming for commercial solution launches in autumn 2018, and forecasting IoT revenue of RUB5 billion (USD81 million) in four years, TelecomDaily reported, quoting MTT director general Evgeny Vasiliev. By end-2018 MTT targets LoRa network coverage of five large cities – Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod and Yekaterinburg – and foresees demand from customers including large agricultural holdings, non-state housing and communal service groups, logistics companies and airports, among others. Other fixed line Russian players progressing LoRaWAN projects include Rostelecom and ER-Telecom.

Kerlink and SITEC have built a showcase ‘smart village’ LoRaWAN network in the mountainous Mediterranean island of Corsica, providing real-time data for monitoring village infrastructure, such as a biomass boiler and micro-hydropower plants, school facilities and farming (including pig tracking and monitoring).

Talkpool and partner investors have founded Nordic IoT Networks (Niot) to accelerate LoRa network rollout. Phase one is underway, and will cover Swedish cities Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmoe/Lund and Uppsala. Subsequent phases will provide coverage across Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Niot will build and operate a LoRa network, but also cooperate with other network operators to consolidate and extend the network coverage, while network access will be provided by partners, with Talkpool to be the first solution provider. Stefan Lindgren, CTO of Talkpool, said: ‘We have a lot of interesting projects in our pipeline – soon to be announced and they all need LoRa connectivity.’

In the US, Sprint has launched the ‘Sprint IoT Factory’, an online marketplace that presents businesses with a wide selection of complete, ready-made IoT solutions. Sprint boasts that ‘more than 550,000 developers are already driving innovation on the platform’, adding: ‘From family-owned restaurants, medical companies to heavy equipment fleet operators and everything in between, the Sprint IoT Factory is giving business owners the power to easily enhance operations – using IoT technology to track assets and connect what’s most important to them.’ The IoT Factory has been built via a strategic relationship with myDevices (providing the ‘IoT in a Box’ solution) and The Goldie Group.

Lastly, AT&T has launched the ‘LTE-M Button’ powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) which offers customers one-click services to save time and money. AT&T highlighted a few of the potential actions triggered by the LTE-M Button, including: instant customer feedback at hotel conference rooms, airports and sports venues; mobile suppliers on the go placing orders from wherever they are; products delivered to a customer’s front door at the touch of a button; automatic alerts from buttons attached to connected trash cans or oil storage containers when it’s time for a pickup; and a ‘virtual concierge’ button for senior citizens to check in with carers on health status and call for medication.

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