IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

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12 Sep 2019

Japan’s NTT DOCOMO has teamed up with Omron and Nokia to trial 5G mobile communication technology in factories, looking to meet increasing demand from manufacturing plants ‘for stable connectivity between IoT devices, including those embedded in machine controls’. The trials aim to prove the feasibility of using 5G connectivity to create ‘layout-free production lines’ using Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) as well as the feasibility of human-machine collaboration. The three companies aim to enhance productivity by having AMRs automatically convey components to the exact spot they are required on the basis of communication with production line equipment.

Tele2 Russia, Rostelecom and Ericsson have tested Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions at the Kirov manufacturing plant in St Petersburg on a pilot NB-IoT network. The tested control system of industrial business processes provides hardware and software data collection from measuring devices installed on heating mains and water pipes. Based on the results of the pilot, Tele2 and its partners plan to create a universal technological solution for Russian industrial enterprises.

Russia’s MTS has signed a series of new Smart City cooperation agreements with local governments in Far East Russian regions including Kamchatka, Sakhalin, Amur, Khabarovsk, Buryatia and Sakha. MTS has also signed a cooperation agreement including Smart City development with the government of Lipetsk region in western Russia. Last month MTS revealed it had already signed Smart City agreements in 18 Russian regions, and its latest batch takes this total to at least 25. Also this week MTS raised its NB-IoT network coverage in Perm region, expanding out from Perm city to cover cities/towns including Berezniki, Chaykovski, Chernushka, Krasnokamsk, Kungur, Lysva and Solikamsk. In August MTS disclosed reaching 60 (of 83) Russian regions with NB-IoT coverage.

Ooredoo Qatar has announced the deployment of Smart City services in Lusail City in partnership with Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, aiming to create ‘the region’s first large-scale greenfield Smart City’. Example applications will include smart traffic to ease congestion, smart lighting to reduce energy usage, and smart waste management to optimise collection, supported by Ooredoo’s fibre-optic and 5G mobile networks integrated with city-wide sensors, and enabling real-time insights on city services.

Australia’s largest telecoms group Telstra reported that it reached 3.2 million devices connected to its M2M/IoT network by the end of its fiscal year (end-June 2019), up 23% from 2.6 million M2M/IoT connections reported twelve months previously. Furthermore, the telco’s IoT revenues climbed by 20% in the full year. Telstra says that it is connecting an average of 2,000 additional IoT devices to its network daily.

German IoT specialist Aconno has established a division in Croatia, and intends to invest more than EUR250,000 in the country in the coming months via offices in Zagreb and Osijek, the company told a press conference. Dusseldorf-based Accono’s core business is connecting IoT devices via the cloud, and it expects to reach turnover of EUR1 million this year, up from EUR800,000 in 2018.

LoRaWAN IoT network operator American Tower (Brazil) has reached coverage of 112 cities within a year of launching, covering roughly 70 million people. The LoRa network operates in the Federal District and the following states: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Ceara, Goias, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Sergipe, Parana, Pernambuco, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.

Actility is partnering nano-satellite IoT start-up Hiber to expand LoRaWAN connectivity to remote and underdeveloped areas of the world. Access to Actility’s ThingPark Wireless and ThingPark Enterprise LoRaWAN management services will be made available via the Hiberband nano-satellite network.

Indian cellco Vodafone Idea is assisting the Mumbai Police with drone surveillance services in a pilot during the visarjan festivities, patrolling three prominent locations in the city, providing high definition video camera feeds.

iBasis has successfully field tested eSIM NB-IoT and LTE-M technology across 24 countries in partnership with Nordic Semiconductor, ahead of a commercial launch set for the end of September 2019. iBasis says the move represents a critical milestone in the evolution of both NB-IoT and LTE-M cellular IoT wireless technology, with customers now able to connect and monitor their LPWA devices globally on its Open eSIM without the logistics of deploying different SIM cards in each country.

Dublin-based connected car solutions provider Cubic Telecom has collaborated with Microsoft on a connected vehicle platform which combines infrastructure and the Microsoft Azure platform. Cubic is also currently demonstrating ‘future-proof sustainable voice services’ using LTE, addressing ‘the gradual sunset of 2G and 3G by operators’ meaning that VoLTE support is necessary for e-call and concierge services. More than 2.5 million drivers currently use Cubic’s connected car solutions in Europe and Asia with a coverage footprint spanning 180 countries via over 75 mobile operator partnerships.

Vodafone Business and Geotab have concluded a strategic collaboration agreement to create Vodafone Business Fleet Analytics, combining Vodafone’s capabilities in automotive connectivity, service delivery, vehicle safety and security with Geotab’s advanced open fleet telematics platform. Vodafone Business Fleet Analytics will launch in all European markets currently served by Vodafone Automotive, starting with France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK. Under the agreement, Geotab will also benefit from Vodafone Automotive’s expertise in device manufacturing.

Lastly, in the US Sprint has upgraded its Sprint Drive connected car platform with additional features including impact detection with automatic alerts to a notification list of contacts, maintenance reminders, ‘RepairPal’ repair indicators with cost estimates from nearby mechanics, an upgraded user interface, and Spanish language support.

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