IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

22 Aug 2019

Germany’s Deutsche Telekom (DT) has launched ‘full-service’ IoT packages with pre-activated SIM cards on the Telekom Deutschland network and roaming in 28 EU countries plus a SIM management portal based on a platform provided by its technology partner 1NCE. Connectivity is via GSM, LTE and NB-IoT (on DT’s NB-IoT networks in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Greece). Hagen Rickmann, business division director at Telekom Deutschland, said: ‘In addition to special solutions for large corporations, the IoT mass market is becoming increasingly important. With the Business Smart Connect tariffs, we are now also offering small and medium-sized companies the opportunity to push ahead with their digitisation.’ As an introductory offer, customers can order 12,000 SIM cards at half price.

In Russia, cellular operator MTS continues to push forward with its NB-IoT network rollout: in its latest quarterly report (Q2) MTS disclosed that NB-IoT now covers more than 60 (of 83) Russian regions, up from 49 at the end of 2018, with multiple cities covered within regions. Furthermore, MTS announced that it has signed Smart City development agreements in 18 Russian regions.

British IoT network operator WND UK has reached the milestone of 90% population coverage, having deployed 1,800 Sigfox base stations across the country on schedule, fulfilling 90% of its ‘core’ rollout plan for 2,000 base stations. Also claiming 56% geographical coverage of the UK, WND says it will deploy a further 200 base stations ‘in the next couple of months’ whilst also continuing to enhance coverage for specific locations with micro base stations and repeaters. WND has also announced a partnership with UK education and research digital solutions provider Jisc (the operator of the nationwide Janet education/research high speed network) to offer universities and colleges IoT technology on a dedicated network with low set-up costs. Educational institutions agreeing to install Sigfox base stations on their campus receive certain free equipment and 100 free Sigfox subscriptions per year. WND UK’s partners already include a number of universities alongside utility companies such as E.on and Thames Water, and local authorities.

The Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation & Communications has signed a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply to position the country as an exporter of agricultural IoT solutions. Under Brazil’s IoT National Plan, the latest agreement establishes the ‘Agro 4.0 Chamber’ to develop strategies for connected farming using automation, interactivity, real-time monitoring and big data.

In the UAE, telecoms operator du has launched a collaborative research initiative with Nokia to explore the benefits of 5G-ready cloud-based future network architecture supporting new 5G and IoT use cases. Saleem Al Blooshi, CTO of du’s parent EITC, said: ‘The digital world is changing very fast, and the arrival of 5G will bring about a plethora of transformation for all industry verticals. With the cloudification of our network, this will mean that the future network architecture will be more agile, dynamic, and optimised, opening up a new array of use cases and new product offerings based upon next generation technologies such as 5G and IoT.’

Australia’s Optus Business has teamed up with nanosatellite provider Myriota to provide regional and remote IoT device connectivity, with combined packages for customers utilising Optus’ national terrestrial networks alongside Myriota’s satellite-based services. Myriota’s low-power IoT modules securely transfer data directly to the cloud through nanosatellites operated by its partner, exactEarth. Dual SIM 4G/5G and NB-IoT options will be available.

Vodafone Qatar has added ‘GigaHome Smart’ smart home packages to its consumer range, offering smart products including light bulbs, sensors and plugs. An initial promotion offers one smart product for free to each customer. The GigaHome internet service provides direct fibre connectivity or the alternative of a 5G fixed modem, depending on Vodafone’s local network coverage.

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