IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

18 Jul 2019

Soracom, a global IoT connectivity provider backed by Japan’s KDDI, has announced that its Soracom Air cellular data service now connects over one million IoT devices, spanning across the Americas to Europe, Asia and Africa. Soracom Air was released in 2016, featuring pay-as-you-go connectivity designed around the needs of IoT devices and developers. After three years of operations, the service has grown to support 15,000 customers and more than one million active IoT connections. Including its original pay-as-you-go cellular service, Soracom now provides six different types of IoT connectivity, including LoRaWAN and Sigfox. Additionally, Soracom now offers a robust IoT API along with 13 modular IoT services focused around cloud integration, network security and device management. Customer deployments range from manufacturing, construction, and public infrastructure to agriculture, real estate, automotive, and consumer. Use cases include everything from power plant maintenance, fish and livestock management, and asset tracking to smart locks, cashless payment terminals, and handheld personal translation devices.

Maxis of Malaysia has entered into a partnership with Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) for collaboration on NB-IoT/smart city initiatives, focused on three areas: co-developing expertise on the proven applications of IoT (including NB-IoT) concepts; partnering on the design, development and implementation of IoT/NB-IoT solutions; and developing a strong ecosystem via lab set-up support, with specialist support resources to build sustainable and smart solutions. Maxis launched the first commercial NB-IoT service in Malaysia in April 2019, with Kuching being one of its key IoT market centres.

Deutsche Telekom (DT) and Software AG have announced a partnership to expand the ‘Cloud of Things’ offering of DT’s enterprise customer unit T-Systems, using Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT platform. By pooling expertise and resources, the two groups say they will expand their presence across the US, Germany and wider European markets. Adel Al-Saleh, CEO of T-Systems, said: ‘Software AG’s technology is critical in enabling us to scale an already successful service. It also introduces new functionality, giving us the confidence to move into new sectors. Our strategic partnership will help us continue to drive innovation.’

Russia’s MegaFon has launched an NB-IoT-based solution named ‘Smart Utilities’. The integrated solution combines an automated system for collecting and transmitting data from utility meters, a web application for users, a large library of drivers for various models of digital metering devices, and potential for integration with external systems. Smart Utilities clients have access to accounting functions and management/control of the consumption of electricity, heat, gas and water. A range of fire and security sensors can be linked to the system, e.g. detecting leakage, movement, opening, heat, smoke, etc. Remote programming of metering devices is also supported.

SoftBank Group Corp in Japan has validated the Sequans Monarch chip for NB-IoT operation on its network. Hironobu Tamba, head of SoftBank’s Smart IoT Division, said: ‘Sequans Monarch is one of the most mature solutions in the industry. The validation of Monarch for NB-IoT operation is an achievement of key importance, especially for customers who want to deploy battery-powered IoT devices, such as meters and sensors, cost-effectively.’

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