Russia’s Beeline has launched a trial NB-IoT network zone with two 800MHz base stations in a residential Moscow district in partnership with Ericsson, enabling connection of up to 10,000 devices per base station. An Ericsson spokesperson said: ‘NB-IoT technologies open up wide opportunities for the development of industrial and consumer use cases in different areas: smart housing, smart manufacturing, environmental improvement, optimising of utility sector infrastructure, road safety and many others. The pilot area in Moscow is an important stage in our long-term cooperation with Beeline.’ Participants have special SIM cards to access the trial network which is free of charge until a full commercial launch expected by the end of 2018.
Japan’s NTT DOCOMO is launching its global IoT connectivity solution ‘Globiot’ on 2 July, aimed at Japanese enterprises with worldwide IoT operations. Globiot provides global connectivity via local SIM/eSIM or roaming, plus IoT consultancy (including regulatory support in overseas markets) and operational/maintenance support. DOCOMO has provided M2M/IoT connectivity services using the ‘docomo IoT KAISENKANRI’ platform since 2012 and commercialised an eSIM solution for IoT equipment in 2014. To date, DOCOMO has coordinated its IoT-related services through alliances such as IoT World Alliance, SCFA, Conexus and others, and via direct collaboration with overseas operators and various partners, but it highlights in a press release that problems of dealing with varying IoT regulations and authentication procedures in foreign regions has slowed the pace of global expansion for Japanese companies. DOCOMO’s new solution promises to simplify such tasks to help companies launch global IoT operations faster and for less cost.
NTT DOCOMO is also partnering China Mobile to launch an eSIM platform on 2 July to support cross-vendor SIM profile switching between their networks.
Thinxtra, the exclusive Sigfox LPWA IoT network operator in Hong Kong, has announced that the network now covers more than 90% of Hong Kong’s territory; Sigfox connectivity services in Hong Kong are aimed at sectors including logistics, construction, smart facility management, health, household, industrial machinery and smart city applications. French-based Sigfox is also currently in negotiations with several potential partners for a planned network launch in Poland later this year.
UK cellco EE (part of BT Group) has launched a new smart home range aimed at saving energy costs, remotely controlling and monitoring heating/lighting/electric plugs via smartphone, plus home security/surveillance features accessible from anywhere in the world. Products utilised include: Hive Active Heating, Nest Learning Thermostat, Honeywell Thermostat, TP-Link WiFi Smart Plug, Hive Active Plug, Hive Active Lighting, Philips Hue White Starter Kit lighting, Nest Cam Indoor, Hive View, Google Home and Apple HomePod.
Lastly, the GSMA has announced that global mobile operators including AT&T, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, KDDI, LG Uplus, Orange, Telefonica, Telenor Group, Telia, Turkcell, Vodafone Group and Zain have committed to adopt and implement the GSMA IoT Security Guidelines. The guidelines outline best practice and recommendations for Internet of Things security for the entire IoT ecosystem and set out a comprehensive security assessment scheme to help ensure IoT services are protected against IoT security risks. There will be around 3.1 billion IoT connections by 2025, according to the GSMA.
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