Telstra has forged an exclusive partnership with Arduino under which it will release the new Arduino MKR NB 1500 IoT developer board in Australia, supporting NB-IoT LTE-M (LTE Cat M1) networks and specifically designed to enable rapid innovation, field trials and deployments of cellular connected devices. Telstra currently has over three million square kilometres of LTE-M coverage across Australia, and has rolled out NB-IoT coverage in major Australian cities and various regional towns.
Slovak Telekom has expanded its NB-IoT network to cover 88.5% of Slovakia’s population and 75% of the country’s territory, claiming the first Slovak ‘national’ IoT network using licensed cellular frequencies. The operator launched pilot NB-IoT services in December 2017 in two cities.
Russian operator Beeline has begun test operations of dual NB-IoT/LTE-M IoT standards, inviting customers and partners to test IoT solutions in areas including logistics, monitoring and video surveillance. Beeline has also recently expanded its IoT user base at car-sharing companies; its SIMs are currently installed on 13,000 cars providing such services, up by nearly 10,000 this year so far.
In Brazil, IoT/connectivity provider Kore has signed a deal with American Tower under which Kore will add LoRaWAN technology to its IoT service portfolio, aiming to connect devices ‘on a large scale, cheaply and safely’.
GLONASS-TM – majority owned by RT-Invest Transport Systems – has been allocated frequencies (863MHz-865MHz/874MHz-876MHz) by the Russian State Radio Frequency Commission to create a federal network for transport telematics, which will collect data from motor vehicles. The allocation was permitted via a government decision in October.
Maltese telco GO has introduced new IoT devices under the ‘GO Connect Kids’ and ‘GO Connect Pets’ brands. The GO Connect Kids watch device includes real-time tracking/location features, SOS button, two-way calling system and a phonebook monitored by a parent/guardian via an app. The pets product attaches to animals’ harnesses, with location tracking/alert functions plus a set of sounds ‘that can help owners train their pet to respond to specific commands’ as well as an app displaying the pet’s activity through the day.
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