T-Mobile US has announced the full commercial launch of the country’s first nationwide NB-IoT network, completing a project it began last year in partnership with Ericsson, Nokia and Qualcomm. T-Mobile also claimed a ‘world first’ by utilising the existing mobile spectrum guard bands for its commercial NB-IoT frequencies. Simultaneously, T-Mobile announced its new ‘CONNECT’ partner programme, to help IoT solution providers accelerate the development and commercialisation of their products and solutions on its network. T-Mobile’s standard NB-IoT plan costs USD6 a year for up to 12MB per connected device, whilst for applications that require more bandwidth and voice, T-Mobile offers LTE Cat-1 IoT Access Packs.
Also in the US, Hawaiian Electric Company is using Verizon’s ‘Grid Wide Utility Solutions’ cloud-based software platform for smart metering, meter data management and other functions, aiming to meet a 100% renewable energy goal by 2045, reports Fierce Wireless. The utility platform works over Verizon’s US-wide LTE Cat-M1 network it launched back in March 2017. Hawaiian Electric uses data collected from IoT sensors on solar power units to determine the company’s energy grid levels and help customers understand their own levels of electricity consumption. Other solutions offered by Verizon include smart water monitoring and smart gas metering. Verizon also plans to follow T-Mobile in launching NB-IoT this year; while Cat-M1 targets various use cases such as wearables, fleet and asset management, NB-IoT is suited for applications requiring data rates below 100kbps. Rival AT&T will also follow suit, having disclosed that some customers have requested lower-cost IoT solutions, whilst NB-IoT is the best fit for certain use cases; AT&T plans to activate NB-IoT across its entire cellular network by the end of 2019.
Singtel and Ericsson will be testing a range of 5G applications over a pilot network scheduled for launch by the fourth quarter of this year at Singapore’s ‘one-north’ science, business and IT hub, including connected drone trials. Singtel highlighted that industries such as transportation, healthcare and manufacturing can leverage 5G to accelerate digital transformation with advanced automation technologies, and enterprises are invited to work with Singtel and Ericsson to develop new 5G use cases using the pilot network.
Ericsson is also setting up a 5G field lab with KPN at the Automotive Campus in Helmond, Netherlands, where the partners will test ultra-low latency 5G use cases with self-driving vehicles and traffic safety applications. KPN will work with the automotive industry at Helmond under the umbrella of the EU ‘Concordia’ research and development programme.
Separately, KPN reported that its IoT revenues increased 8.3% year-on-year in Q2 2018, whilst in the twelve months ended 30 June the Dutch operator’s M2M connected base grew by 1.2 million SIMs to a total of 4.3 million.
Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has launched a new M2M tariff range (‘IoT for business’), including seven variants depending on the requirements of the type of connected device, e.g. remote video surveillance systems, online cash registers, utility meters, multimedia advertising modules, vehicle monitoring systems, etc. Data packs are based on GPRS, CSD, SMS, plus voice in certain cases (e.g. security/emergency systems), and volumes included range from 50MB per month up to 10GB.
State-owned Thai operator CAT Telecom is using Actility’s ‘ThingPark’ IoT connectivity platform and system integrator Teo Hong Silom for a national LoRaWAN network rollout, with a pilot service in Phuket involving smart city applications to be followed in the short-term by a launch in Bangkok.
In Vietnam, VNPT has demoed IoT services at the Industry 4.0 Summit in Hanoi, in areas including smart agriculture, smart traffic management and environmental monitoring.
Lastly, Ukraine’s Lifecell, a subsidiary of Turkcell, is deploying a LoRaWAN IoT network, with testing to begin next month in the capital Kiev. The project, in partnership with IoT Ukraine, will involve an initial rollout of 40 LoRa stations to cover ‘90%’ of Kiev and support up to roughly 200,000 connected devices.
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