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IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

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30 May 2019

Russia’s GLONASS Telematika (GLONASS-TM) will build a RUB53 billion (USD811 million) federal IoT network spanning 34,000 base stations, IntelliNews reported. GLONASS-TM aims to start building its network in 2020 and complete it in three years, projecting to recoup its investment in the fifth year of operation. The IoT network will be based on XNB – an LPWA technology locally developed by Contemporary Radio Technologies (CRT), co-owned by Igor Rotenberg – also co-owner of GLONASS-TM via RT Invest. The developer claims that XNB has a longer data transmission range and better capabilities for penetrating concrete walls than both NB-IoT and LoRaWAN. The company is looking at various IoT application areas including utilities (water, electricity and gas), monitoring engineering and other systems in buildings, access control and collection of data related to numbers/behaviour of people in public areas. GLONASS-TM was issued frequencies (863MHz-865MHz and 874MHz-876MHz) without an open tender, under a government decision made last October.

Russian major cellco MegaFon, meanwhile, is continuing to develop NB-IoT-based services, and has recently launched its own industrial IoT environmental monitoring platform. The platform consists of a set of sensors connected by a local network with management servers, automatically collecting environmental data, processing and analysing the data to quickly troubleshoot problems. Head of IoT solutions at MegaFon, Pavel Ivanchenko, said: ‘The launch of a new environmental monitoring platform based on Internet of Things technologies further expands the existing ecosystem of our solutions in this area and significantly increases the capabilities of our partners in the field of monitoring, analytics and operational management of their projects.’

T-Mobile Netherlands and sister company T-Systems are launching bundled IoT platform/sensor/connectivity/IT packages for businesses and municipalities. The partners have already provided their integrated services for smart energy supplier Eneco and for a municipality’s disabled parking system.

Out on the roads, India’s Vodafone Idea has partnered Hyundai AutoEver India to introduce Hyundai’s Blue Link Connected Technology with the recently launched Hyundai Venue smart connected SUV for a range of services including Safety, Security and Vehicle Relationship Management Services.

And off to pasture, Kazakh mobile operator Kcell has launched a pilot IoT agriculture service, utilising its 3G, 4G LTE and NB-IoT networks; its first projects involve sensors – provided by Olzha Sadchikovskoye – attached to cattle, sending data over a cloud monitoring platform.

Elsewhere in cattle country, ChipFox-SA is providing South African Sigfox network operator Sqwidnet with livestock tracking solutions, tailored for monitoring various animals including sheep, goats, cattle, rhino and birds – with Sigfox GPS tags attached to five crowned eagles so far. Ben Hoffman, MD of Chipfox, an ex-ranger who also runs a raptor rehabilitation research facility in KwaZulu-Natal, said of the project: ‘I have been down the GSM, pure satellite and RF/VHF tracking routes, but nothing ticks all the boxes when it comes to small form factor, long battery life and low cost like Sigfox devices,’ adding that ‘we would have lost the eagle if we had gone with another network technology.’ Hawks, buffalos and cheetahs are all earmarked for subsequent connection to the network, which currently covers over 90% of South Africa’s (human) population.

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