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IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

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28 Mar 2019

Telecom Italia (TIM) has embarked on tests of NB-IoT-based ‘interactive’ smart city applications in Verona in partnership with the municipal authorities and local utility company AGSM, focusing on security, transport and tourism services. Initial pilots include monitoring environmental quality via sensors on buses, and a smart parking system.

T-Mobile Austria has pilot-launched its ‘IoT Gateway’ IoT platform, with the first customer being chocolate maker Zotter (requiring functions including temperature control). The platform supports universal IoT device connectivity, and is aimed at simplifying management of devices and IoT applications via an online portal.

Japan’s NTT DOCOMO and Sony Corporation are trialling Sony’s conceptual driverless vehicle, the New Concept Cart SC-1, which leverages 5G mobile technologies for various remotely controlled functions. The test will be conducted using the trial network in the DOCOMO 5G Open Lab on the Pacific island of Guam, operated by DOCOMO Pacific, aimed at verifying data transmission and operational performance required to remotely control the vehicle from a long distance via ‘extra-high speed, large capacity, low latency and massive-device connectivity’. The New Concept Cart SC-1 incorporates AI and robotics technologies developed by Sony. Image sensors that exceed human vision are mounted on the vehicle’s front, rear and both sides to provide the remote driver with high-quality video of the surrounding area, and also to on-board passengers, for example, to show them entertaining augmented-reality scenes of the surrounding area. The 4K digital-signage system can be used for displaying advertisements and other content in high-quality resolution to passers-by.

L-Spark, an Ottawa-based SaaS accelerator, has partnered with Telus, BlackBerry and Solace to launch the Secure IoT Accelerator programme, supporting Canadian IoT ventures ‘by offering them global reach capabilities and secure technologies’. The Secure IoT Accelerator aims to address the need for greater security and more complex applications, developing several IoT products and services that use Telus’ Global Connectivity Platform and its IoT Cybersecurity services, as well as BlackBerry’s operating system, and Solace’s data capabilities.

Inatel, TIM Brasil, Ericsson and the Brazilian National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) are collaborating on a smart city IoT pilot in Santa Rita do Sapucai (Minas Gerais), involving smart lighting, security and vehicle tracking solutions. The project – also featuring start-up companies including Das Coisas, Fractum, Laager and Pixel – is expected to expand to Caxambu (Minas Gerais) and Pirai (Rio de Janeiro). Another Brazilian operator, Oi, has announced the expansion of its smart city digital services to include specialised surveillance systems; for example, Oi is supplying the State Secretariat of Public Security in Rio de Janeiro with urban monitoring services incorporating video surveillance and analytics (including face recognition) for uses such as tracking/locating suspects and vehicles, identifying behaviour patterns and assessing risk.

Russia’s second largest broadband operator ER-Telecom disclosed in its end-year report that during the second half of 2018 it expanded its LoRaWAN-based Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) network across 52 Russian cities. The IIoT solutions are provided to large customers and government agencies, with various pilot projects running in the oil and energy industries as well as smart cities. The Federation’s biggest broadband provider, Rostelecom, meanwhile, has launched an IIoT pilot project for oil group Lukoil in the Aspinskoye oil field (Perm region), involving remote monitoring of oil extraction equipment.

The Telenor-backed ‘IoT Protolab’ in Trondheim, Norway, has marked its first year of partnering entrepreneurs, scientists and students in developing IoT services and products in collaboration with Wireless Trondheim. In twelve months, the research and innovation centre has acted as an incubator for 18 IoT and hardware-centric start-ups, involving 90 individual innovators. Various projects are in development such as: autonomous drones (including ‘Scout Drone Inspection’ and a long-distance drone system), healthcare sensors, gas cylinder monitoring, a global navigation system track/trace device for NB-IoT networks, bike parking/bike locking, hydrofoil high speed marine vessel technology, clean energy systems, a car roof rack system, and other IoT solutions for the property, health, industrial and aquaculture markets.

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