IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

11 Apr 2019

Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has expanded its commercial NB-IoT network to the Komi Republic region in the Northwestern Federal District, including regional capital city Syktyvkar. Having already launched NB-IoT services in around 50 major cities across the Federation, the latest expansion follows MTS’ recent launch in the Altay region (including the city of Barnaul).

MTS’ wholly-owned subsidiary Vodafone Ukraine meanwhile announced completion of its NB-IoT network in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa. The news follows its announcement in February that it had completed NB-IoT network testing in the capital Kiev and northeastern city Kharkiv.

The Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications & Mass Media has approved the country’s framework (‘concept’) plan for development of cellular IoT networks based on licensed frequencies – NB-IoT (in LTE bands including 450MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz FDD bands), LTE-M/eMTC (also in LTE bands) and EC-GSM-IoT (900MHz/1800MHz) – alongside licence-free IoT standards. As reported by ComNews, licence-exempt variations are divided into two groups: LoRaWAN protocols and a set of ‘ultra-narrowband’ technologies (mostly associated with Russian developers e.g. Strizh, Glonass, NB-Fi, Altonika – and ‘in many ways similar to the [more common in other countries] Sigfox technology’). Commenting, major Russian cellco MegaFon said that ‘the concept took into account the proposals of most market players and eliminated most of the contradictions’.

3 Denmark has launched an offer under which business subscribers get a free-of-charge ‘IoT starter kit’ including three IoT SIM cards with six months’ inclusive data. The operator says the start-up package is aimed at enabling B2B users to design, develop and test IoT solutions.

German giant Deutsche Telekom has partnered Ziehl Abegg in developing an IoT platform under the name ZAbluegalaxy, with capabilities for constant analysis of data sent from a connected device, integrated error messages/status information and all results viewable via a digital dashboard. The system is designed to avoid device downtime.

Croatia’s OiV has presented the ‘OiV Smartino IoT’ platform at the Smart Cities 2019 event in the country’s capital Zagreb. The company describes the new platform as multifunctional, providing ’trusted infrastructure for connecting and managing IoT sensors, applications and users’. It added: ‘With 24/7 surveillance and secure management, users are offered the possibility of implementation throughout Croatia, including areas that do not have internet or electricity, thanks to OiV’s LoRa network.’

Lastly, a battle for EU vehicle connectivity dominance is gearing up on the autobahns, autostradas, autoroutes, autopistas and maybe even the motorways (if Brexit drags on for long enough). The European Parliament’s transport committee has opposed a European Commission proposal which apparently favours a Wi-Fi-based technology standard (ITS-G5) for internet-connected cars above the 5G cellular C-V2X standard, Automotive News Europe reports. Backers of C-V2X include mobile network operators/vendors (obviously) alongside automotive players including Ford, Daimler and Groupe PSA (Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel and Vauxhall), whilst ITS-G5 endorsers include Volkswagen and Renault. A clause in the proposal requiring new technologies to be modified for compatibility with older tech drew criticism from telecoms companies, which claimed it would slow down innovation. On 17 April Parliament will vote on the Commission’s proposal, which can only be blocked by a majority.

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