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IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

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9 May 2019

Lenovo Connect has won a contract to provide its ‘Dual Number – Single SIM’ platform solution globally to China Mobile IoT Company to meet increasing cross-border communication demands of Chinese enterprise customers. The partnership will offer overseas IoT connectivity management services covering ‘up to 20 countries worldwide’. China Mobile IoT Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of China Mobile, claims that its self-developed OneLink IoT management platform has over 500 million connections to the terminal server, representing the highest IoT platform connection volume in the world.

Swedish IoT company Th1ng has made its services available over the iTUX open access network owned by Tele2, with the aim of reaching more users in the consumer and B2B segments. A press release says that Th1ng is focused on ‘delivering smart connected services to private customers, companies, property owners and municipalities’ with the ambition to ‘become something more than the existing internet operators in the market’ via ‘a holistic concept around all the smart services for homes, companies, real estate and municipalities that are now starting to enter the market’.

Zimbabwean state-owned network operator TelOne is preparing to introduce smart home services, TechnoMag reported, quoting marketing manager Maureen Mataranyika as saying: ‘We are still developing smart homes and we are expecting that by the end of the year they will be complete and ready for customer use.’ The services will enable connected household devices to be controlled by voice or smartphone (in-home or remotely).

In Brazil, the Claro Brasil group (including Embratel) is providing 2G/3G/4G cellular network infrastructure and newly deployed NB-IoT and LTE-M technology alongside a cloud computing platform for a project to develop IoT in agribusiness, reports Teletime. The ‘Fazenda Conectada’ project involves monitoring connected sensors in soybean, coffee, corn, sugar cane and sorghum plantations. Last month Embratel began providing three IoT platforms focused on agribusiness in partnership with AgrusData.

German cableco Unitymedia has named the ‘first certified ecosystem partner’ for its LoRaWAN IoT network as Conbee, which currently equips over 1,000 vehicles with ‘Smart Tags’ connected via LoRaWAN/cloud for identification/tracking. A press release adds that ‘the first 50 cities and towns that choose Unitymedia’s LoRaWAN benefit from a free installation of the required wireless infrastructure’. Together with its ecosystem partners, Unitymedia aims to offer a range of solutions for municipalities, local authorities and industrial clients.

Another German firm, QSC, announced that its recently-agreed deal to sell its ISP unit Plusnet to EnBW Telekommunikation will help it accelerate its expansion in the IoT and cloud B2B sectors. QSC said that the sale proceeds will allow it to address its target market more actively, adopting a more energetic approach to sales and stepping up R&D activities. The funds will also give the company the option of making acquisitions to supplement its existing technology portfolio.

In South Korea, the recent public safety (PS-LTE) network expansion contract signed by Samsung Electronics and KT Corp includes Public Network IoT based on NB-IoT technology, allowing the partners to deliver the ‘world’s first NB-IoT service through the PS-LTE network’.

Finally, Telenor Norway is ringing the bell for ‘IoT Time at the baaa’, in this case a ‘smart sheep bell’ as the operator has partnered start-up Smartbjella to track livestock via its NB-IoT network. As announced in a press release headed ‘Sheep get a digital shepherd dog’, Telenor is trialling Smartbjella’s smart collar-fitted tracking device and monitoring application with 15,000 sheep heading out to pasture this summer. Peter Asle Mona, sheep owner and CEO of Smartbjella, noted that the NB-IoT solution is ideal as the device battery life extends up to ten years, with lower costs and better coverage than existing solutions via Telenor’s LTE network with 99% population/81% geographical footprint in Norway.

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