IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

21 Nov 2019

Tele2 Russia has begun using its LTE-450 network for NB-IoT operations in Moscow, claiming that its test service is the first of its kind in the world, whilst discussing with clients the potential for expansion to a full commercial service. A company spokesperson told ComNews: ‘The main advantage of the LTE-450 range is the coverage of one base station with a radius of about 20km, which is almost two times higher than the capabilities of an LTE station operating in the 800MHz band. This can significantly reduce the cost of covering new territories.’ The 450MHz standard also has significant building penetration capabilities and is operable in fast-moving vehicles. Target sectors may include housing and utilities, industrial, smart city systems, security, logistics, agriculture and others. Tele2’s 450MHz NB-IoT development partners include Ericsson, Mediatek and SIMcom Wireless Solutions.

Vodafone Hungary has launched an IoT -based ‘self-driving parking system’ in partnership with AImotive and HERE Technologies, initially focused on operating in underground garages and featuring a Scalable ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) with indoor mapping. The ‘commercially viable, scalable automated parking solution’ has been equipped in prototype vehicles, using AI software from Almotive and maps developed by HERE, and will be marketed to car manufacturers and other automotive suppliers. The test cars are able to park in various locations around Budapest without human intervention. Sensors deployed by Vodafone are connected using the cellco’s NB-IoT network and enable the cars to autonomously locate vacant parking spaces.

UAE-based Du has launched a new M2M control platform – powered by Vodafone solutions – to enhance its clients’ M2M SIM management capabilities via a central self-service portal, supporting applications including point of sale (POS) terminals, fleet vehicle tracking, smart meters and surveillance cameras.

Qatar’s Ooredoo has introduced an IoT Asset Management service targeting sectors including construction, facilities management, oil/gas and transport/logistics. Devices/equipment ranging from construction machines to power generators can be monitored via the system for clients to optimise their assets across multiple sites and projects.

Sigfox is rolling out a Private Area Network (PAN) service which it says it will test in France in Q1 2020 before expanding its availability across 65-plus countries where Sigfox IoT networks are operational. The new option will give Sigfox customers the choice between a private (PAN) or global (WAN) service, dependent on budget and business requirements, while Sigfox PAN customers will be able to subscribe to a ‘WAN extension’ to benefit from redundancy and flexibility in the event of devices requiring communication outside the local network. Sigfox also notes that it will complete its WAN coverage in 2020 via its partnership with Eutelsat (which is launching an IoT nanosatellite constellation providing global connectivity).

South African broadband ISP RSAWEB is rolling out a LoRaWAN IoT network, which has already reached 95% of Cape Town, with plans to expand to all of South Africa’s major metropolitan areas, as well as other African countries, reports MyBroadband. The company stated that its LoRa 868MHz network enables deep coverage and penetration, with an open ecosystem and the ability to expand into areas that are uneconomical for other technologies. RSAWEB added that the LoRaWAN network will be expanded into metro and rural areas ‘as required’, claiming that the technology is ideal in areas ‘that will not be served by NB-IoT, such as rural and agricultural regions.’

Lastly, Vodafone Germany has agreed to buy Cologne-based IoT solution provider and system integrator grandcentrix, anticipating closure by the year-end pending antitrust approval. Under the deal of undisclosed value, grandcentrix’ existing institutional investor High-Tech Grunderfonds agreed to exit the ownership.

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Albania, France, Hungary, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company, EITC), Ericsson, Ooredoo Qatar, RSAWEB, Sigfox, Tele2 Russia, Vodafone Germany, Vodafone Hungary