IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

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6 Sep 2018

Latvian mobile operator Bite has switched on its first NB-IoT network base station, in the capital Riga, and has launched test services based on NB-IoT in collaboration with local firm Teliko, specialising in intelligent street lighting control, remote energy meter reading devices and energy network surveillance systems. Bite’s CEO Kaspars Bull noted that the Huawei-supplied NB-IoT network will shortly be expanded with around ten base stations in Riga and other regions, enabling further test projects to get started, adding that an NB-IoT launch across the operator’s entire LTE network is scheduled for early 2019. Reinis Kula of Teliko stated that the first few NB-IoT-connected smart street lights were operational in Riga, to be followed in the near future by ‘new products for heat, water and gas … as well as external environment monitoring equipment’.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has permitted IoT services testing using unlicensed spectrum LPWA technologies including LoRa and Sigfox, whilst it finalises its strategy regarding licensed spectrum IoT. The ministry’s Mochamad Hadiyana (responsible for device standardisation) gave a statement saying that the regulations covering IoT spectrum allocations/permissions and IoT device standardisation would be issued before the end of 2018. Specific trials for unlicensed frequencies in the 919MHz-925MHz band are beginning shortly, and if resulting in interference, this earmarked band will be reduced in size (‘919MHz to 924MHz or 919MHz to 923MHz’), the official added.

Telecomasia reports that Japan’s NTT DOCOMO has selected IoT blockchain developer AnApp Technologies to participate in its 5G Open Partner Program. AnApp is the developer of IOTW, a new cryptocurrency for IoT applications designed to enable ‘micro-mining’ using low power IoT devices. This has the potential to obviate the main expense making mining for other cryptocurrencies financially unviable. The platform is designed so that IOTW’s proof of assignment and micro-mining blockchain algorithms can be added to IoT devices without additional hardware costs. AnApp CEO Frederick Leung said that the solution ‘will enable NTT DOCOMO to collect big data’, whilst ‘end users will fully benefit from micro-mining’.

German cableco Unitymedia has partnered electronics firm Conrad Connect to develop LoRaWAN-based IoT services. Unitymedia is providing the wireless infrastructure for Conrad’s IoT connectivity platform and applications.

Lastly, Ukraine’s largest cellular network operator by users Kyivstar reported that it reached 1.4 million M2M SIMs active on its network in August, up by 23% year-on-year. 92% of M2M SIMs are registered to corporate customers, although consumer M2M SIMs are growing – increasing in volume by 78% in the same period; Kyivstar added that 37% of M2M SIMs on its network are for vehicles or property monitoring/security.

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Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Latvia, Ukraine, Bite Latvia, Kyivstar, Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI), NTT DOCOMO, Unitymedia