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IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

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4 Oct 2018

Hungarian B2B telecoms and IT provider Invitech has announced the full launch of its ‘IoT Insights’ platform, the Budapest Business Journal reports. IoT Insights is an integrated solution for monitoring and operating sensors, databases and systems, as well as collecting, processing and displaying related data, supported by Invitechʼs IoT infrastructure, services and base of experts. Invitech says its IoT solutions are aimed at improving efficiency in a variety of sectors, including agriculture, construction and industrial. In February 2018 Invitech launched a LoRa-based IoT network covering the entirety of the capital Budapest, and several other cities now have complete coverage, including Miskolc and Szeged, with Debrecen, Szombathely and Zalaegerszeg soon to follow.

India’s Tata Communications has agreed to take full ownership of Teleena, a Netherlands-based mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE) and IoT connectivity specialist, reports ConvergeDigest. Tata bought an initial 35% stake in Teleena in January 2017, and it says Teleena’s solutions form a key part of the Tata ‘MOVE’ platform, which enables enterprises and device manufacturers to ‘capture, move and manage information worldwide through borderless, secure and scalable connectivity’. Anthony Bartolo, Chief Product Officer, Tata Communications, said: ‘Our vision is to create an environment where anything can be “born connected”. Providing everyone and everything in the world with seamless connectivity globally will support businesses’ digital transformation.’

Going underground now, as Vodafone UK has signed up its first trial NB-IoT customer, energy group Scottish Power, which is using NB-IoT in subterranean ‘link boxes’ that are prone to fire risk from overheating. If a sensor detects the box is dangerously hot, a notification is sent over the 900MHz NB-IoT network for Scottish Power to dispatch an engineer. Quoted by LightReading, Scott Petty, Vodafone UK CTO, told reporters: ‘The sensor itself runs on a double-A battery for a minimum of five years. It costs less than EUR2 [USD2.35] and allows you to send a very small amount of data,’ adding that NB-IoT has allowed Vodafone to cover places it would not have been able to reach using mainstream cellular technology, saying: ‘Where 2G would penetrate a building but struggle to go through flooring, NB-IoT will go through about three metres of flooring. And LoRa has the same penetration problem that 2G has.’

Next, some trash talking from Scandinavia, where Telia Norway has signed its first commercial NB-IoT contract, with waste disposal container (skip) tracking/monitoring company StalkIT, initially covering up to 100,000 connected units over three years, having expanded a pilot programme launched late last year.

Similarly talking a load of old rubbish, Orange Poland has begun using its LTE-M network to provide intelligent waste management for city councils, report TheFastMode. LTE-M connected sensors will enable optimisation of municipal waste collection, saving expense and ultimately improving the cleanliness of a city through greater efficiency.

Getting vocal in the US now, with AT&T announcing that it will add VoLTE capabilities for LTE-M in early 2019, playing catch-up with rival Verizon in this respect, as the latter announced this development in August. AT&T is also embarking on NB-IoT trials in Chicago with business customers in Q4 2018, having previously revealed that it will launch commercial NB-IoT in the US by Q2 2019; NB-IoT will also be launched by AT&T Mexico before the end of 2019.

Speaking of Mexico, America Movil’s local mobile division Telcel has partnered with Samsung to launch a ‘Smart Things’ platform – a smart home system kit complete with Wi-Fi hub, security cameras, multi-purpose sensors and smart electricity plugs, plus Telcel subscription with 30GB of cloud storage, with a home management app for Android/iOS devices.

And speak of the devil, ‘Smart Things’ is also the name of *MegaFon*’s new M2M package. The Russian cellco’s new tariffs are suitable for many devices including wearables such as smart watches, fitness bracelets, various sensors, video cameras, smart home systems and household appliances.

Lastly, we make a clean getaway with SK Telecom (SKT) which has applied its LTE-M network to enable new services for its affiliate SK Networks’ car rental operations, ZDNet reported. The South Korean cellco is enabling real-time monitoring of the rental car fleet over the low-power 300kbps LTE-M network, e.g. for checking engine status, usage and vehicle malfunction codes. SKT and SK Networks also plan to develop a service to measure the driving habits of customers, who can then receive discounts based on their scores. Drive safely!

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