IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

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14 Feb 2019

German-based IoT carrier 1NCE has sold more than one million SIM cards since market launch five months ago, offering an IoT flat rate for mobile device communications, and the company attributes its initial success to ‘a much-needed affordable price point’, ‘whilst still guaranteeing the highest quality service’. 1NCE now covers more than 30 countries, and is supported by Deutsche Telekom, utilising the mobile networks of major European operators plus networks in China, Russia and the US. In most countries the service is available over at least two networks to maximise availability. 1NCE offers ‘seamless’ switching between mobile communications standards – 2G, 3G, 4G or NB-IoT.

Vodafone Ukraine has completed testing its NB-IoT network in Kyiv and Kharkiv. A company press release declared: ‘IoT is one of the priorities for Vodafone, the development of which in Ukraine became possible with the launch of 4G in July 2018. This direction allows various devices, such as sensors and instruments, to interact with each other without human intervention.’

Sri Lankan fixed and mobile network operator Dialog Axiata, Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) and the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy have announced the deployment of an IoT-enabled smart-grid solution to introduce pre-paid electricity metering to the country. The collaborative venture’s solution – announced at the GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities Asia Industry Forum 2019 – was developed with the Dialog Mobile Communications Research Lab at University of Moratuwa, involving conversion of standard electronic meters into smart meters which can maintain a ‘pre-paid wallet’, supported by a utility IoT and analytics platform and utility Meter Data Management system. The smart-grid solution also consists of a Network Monitoring Device which monitors the low voltage power distribution network in real time, and will be initially available in the LECO Green Energy Zone in Kotte.

Glasgow-headquartered Boston Networks has launched a GBP6 million (USD7.7 million) Internet of Things network named IoT Scotland based on a planned 500 LoRa wireless gateways across the country. The project is part funded by GBP2.7 million from the Scottish Government with support from Scottish Enterprise, Highland & Islands Enterprise (HIE) and private investment from Boston Networks. Glasgow will be over 99% covered via 22 gateways which are being installed across the city – which the company claims makes it the most LoRa covered city in the UK. A full rollout is planned by March 2021, with Boston Networks installing and managing all devices.

American Tower has recently activated additional LoRaWAN networks in eleven further Brazilian cities, and claims it now has 400,000 devices connected to its infrastructure. Before the latest expansion the company already covered the metropolitan regions of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. American Tower is targeting 80 cities with LoRaWAN coverage by the end of 2019, including all regional capitals, and aims to reach two million devices connected within the year.

Norwegian operator Telenor is using IoT technology to measure avalanche risks on Svalbard island. It has begun a pilot project to improve avalanche warnings, prompted by large avalanches in 2015 and 2016 which hit Longyearbyen on Svalbard after existing detection systems failed to indicate that evacuation was necessary. Telenor Svalbard is cooperating with the University Centre in Svalbard on measuring snow drifts and avalanche risk.

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Brazil, Sri Lanka, Svalbard and Jan Mayen Is., Ukraine, United Kingdom, 1NCE, American Tower (Brazil), Boston Networks, Dialog Axiata, IoT Scotland, Telenor Svalbard, Vodafone Ukraine