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IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

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31 Oct 2019

Nokia has signed a contract with Hutchison 3 Indonesia to provide IoT coverage to enterprises in various sectors utilising the fully virtualised Nokia Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) managed service platform. Nokia says Enterprise customers using WING can manage their IoT devices real-time using the cloudified IoT core network, a single global connectivity management platform and 24/7 IoT command centre capabilities, enabling ‘agile and secure operations, comprehensive service level agreements, whilst providing real-time insights’. Pre-packaged solutions are available for agriculture, livestock management, asset management and logistics. 3 will also be able to cooperate with other WING operators around the world to deliver IoT services for global enterprises based in Indonesia.

Vodafone Qatar is launching nationwide NB-IoT network services, Gulf Times reports. The cellco is currently showcasing an initial range of Smart City NB-IoT solutions that are commercially viable over the Vodafone network, such as smart waste management, smart parking and smart lighting. Vodafone Qatar also highlights NB-IoT’s use cases in various other segments including utilities, smart buildings, healthcare, agriculture and others. CEO Sheikh Hamad Abdulla al-Thani said: ‘The need for prolonged battery life and deep in-building penetration has been answered by NB-IoT. Our NB-IoT network will allow millions of everyday objects to be connected to the Internet of Things.’

Vodafone Ukraine has signed a cooperation agreement with Kyiv city authority’s IT department on smart city development; the parties aim to cooperate on introducing smart solutions from Vodafone for the management of municipal systems and public services. TeleGeography notes that Vodafone Ukraine tested an NB-IoT network in Kyiv and Kharkiv in February 2019 and expanded the network in April 2019 to Odessa, where in October it signed an agreement with the local government to implement NB-IoT smart city solutions. Vodafone Ukraine’s Russian parent company, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), meanwhile has begun providing IoT services for power supplier Penzaenergo in the Russian city of Penza, initially installing 4,500 smart meters equipped with MTS SIMs.

Vodafone Business and America Movil have struck an IoT partnership agreement to make it simpler and more efficient for both companies’ customers to deploy international IoT solutions by combining their respective IoT platforms and expertise. Vodafone Business customers will be able to connect IoT devices across Latin America, and America Movil IoT clients will have access to one of the largest global networks via Vodafone (which connects more than 88.9 million M2M/IoT devices worldwide). Customers will also be able to rely on the local knowledge of each partner to comply with local regulations.

South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) reported that it surpassed one million connections on its low power wide area (LPWA) IoT networks by the end of September 2019. Mobile World Live writes that 780,000 connections were on SKT’s LTE-M network (launched in Q2 2018), with the other 220,000 or more on the LoRaWAN network which the operator deployed in H1 2016. SKT says it plans to take the lead in the sector via projects such as energy consumption monitoring, with its current IoT service range including water/gas/solar power monitoring and smart city applications such as street lighting control.

Etisalat and Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop prospects for using 5G networking and IoT. Abdul Aziz Al Falahi, RTA’s CEO of Corporate Technology Support for the Services Sector, said: ‘The signing of the MoU is in line with RTA’s efforts to keep pace with the government’s drive to adopt the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) … The MoU calls for initiatives to improve mobility and transit safety in Dubai, and joint efforts to explore the use of 5G internet in transport and communication … using the IoT, Connected Autonomous Vehicles, artificial intelligence, drones, machine learning, big data and blockchain technologies.’ Abdulla Ibrahim Al Ahmed, Senior VP for Government Sales at Etisalat, added that new technologies will ‘enable RTA to play a leading role in autonomous mobility solutions and delivering innovative services in modern mass transport, which will have a significant bearing on improving the daily life of people.’

Lastly, Eutelsat has commercially launched its ‘IoT First’ connectivity service based on Ku-band geostationary satellites, aimed at linking ‘large fixed assets’ requiring high capacity data transfer over the internet, reports SpaceNews quoting Luis Jimenez-Tunon, group executive VP of Eutelsat’s data business. Eutelsat has installed three IoT network hubs – one at its Rambouillet, France, teleport and others with partner sites, X2nSat in Petaluma, California, and Microspace in Raleigh, North Carolina – to enable the IoT First service. MBI Group of Pisa, Italy, is providing the hubs, which are specialised for IoT instead of traditional satellite services like connecting very small aperture terminals, Jimenez-Tunon added. Eutelsat IoT First is available across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The company is considering expanding the service to sub-Saharan Africa and the Asia-Pacific, though such expansions, particularly in Asia, could require more teleport infrastructure, the executive VP noted. Eutelsat is marketing its geostationary IoT service to satcom resellers, large cellular operators, and the emerging field of dedicated IoT solutions integrators. Separately, Eutelsat is preparing for the launch of 25 low-Earth-orbit (LEO) small satellites and hosted payloads next year, which will use ISM frequencies to connect smaller devices requiring ‘only a few bytes of data per day’, utilising existing ground stations, according to Jimenez-Tunon.

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