IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

19 Dec 2019

Telia Norway, Ericsson and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have partnered to demo an autonomous passenger ferry in Trondheim, reports MobileEurope. The self-driving vessel transports passengers across Trondheim’s harbour canal, using Telia’s 5G network to transfer large amounts of data and sensors to record its surroundings, steer/moor itself and avoid obstacles. In an emergency, the ferry can be remotely controlled via the same mobile network. Telia’s Jon Christian Hillestad said: ‘This pilot is a very good example of how 5G can be used for something quite concrete. Autonomous vehicles rely on superfast real-time data transmission and need both a secure connection to the network and low latency, which is characteristic of 5G. This will be the first time we test 5G on self-driving vehicles in Norway, and we will gain valuable experience and knowledge of how the technology works for autonomous systems in transportation.’

Further out to sea, South Korea’s SK Telecom and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) have developed a 5G-based test platform for autonomous ships. Leveraging IoT, 5G and AI technologies, the navigation platform will guide vessels to autonomously sail towards fixed destinations, while improving safety and productivity, reports Ship-technology.com. A test of the navigation platform was performed using a 3.3 metre test ship equipped with a cloud-based IoT platform and ‘T Live Caster’, 5G-based LiDAR, and real-time video monitoring, which travelled to its destination in the sea near SHI’s Geoje Shipyard, successfully recognising and negotiating maritime obstacles en route. The system incorporates both 5G-based autonomous and remote-control navigation.

Nokia has signed a contract with network operator TIM Brasil to provide IoT services to enterprise customers via the fully virtualised Nokia Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) managed service offer. TIM’s Brazilian enterprise clients will be able to monitor and manage in real-time their devices, ranging from asset tracking and status sensors for logistics industries to fully connected cars with on-board diagnostics and telematics. As part of the deployment, the Nokia IMPACT IoT platform, which simplifies the process of bringing and scaling multiple applications onto a single platform, will provide IoT device management and service capability exposure, Nokia’s press release announced. The deal was Nokia’s first WING contract in Latin America.

Telenor Hungary has launched ‘Drivey’, described as ‘a smart watch for cars’, connected via the cellco’s 2G and 4G cellular networks. Drivey comes with its own app to monitor a driver’s car usage patterns, mileage, fuel consumption, sudden engine revs, sudden/extreme braking, plus vehicle location when parked and error messages/preventative information regarding the car’s technical condition. Drivey also functions as an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, with a data allowance included in the monthly package. For vehicle fleet customers, the location/data for all cars equipped with Drivey and paired to the main app are displayed on a dashboard.

The director of Russia’s Internet of Things Association, Andrei Kolesnikov, estimated that the country’s IoT market grew by 9% in 2019, below the Association’s original forecast of 14-15%, attributed to ‘general economic’ factors rather than problems with the technology itself, while noting that the transport/logistics IoT segment was one of the best performers, achieving 12% annual growth. As reported by ComNews, Russian cellco MTS spokesman Alexei Merkutov said similarly that the domestic IoT market grew by ‘about 10%’ in terms of the number of SIM cards in 2019, adding: ‘At the moment, the Internet of Things is most developed in transport, energy, and industry.’ Pavel Ivanchenko, Head of IoT and Digital Solutions at rival cellco MegaFon, agreed that the IoT market in 2019 showed a more modest growth rate than previously expected, while predicting that the housing and utilities sector should become a significant driver of IoT market growth in 2020, as the segment begins to take advantage of savings through automated data collection/monitoring seen already in transport and logistics.

The Metropolitan Government of Seoul, South Korea, is planning a citywide LoRaWAN IoT network based on Semtech LoRa devices as part of its wider plans to create a ‘hyper-connected city’ by 2022 including a free-to-use public municipal Wi-Fi network with comprehensive coverage. By that year Seoul intends to deploy around 1,000 LoRaWAN gateways to support smart city applications including smart parking, street lighting, geolocation for citizen safety plus other applications utilising urban data to address the needs of citizens.

Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee for IT & Communications has announced the allocation of test 5G frequencies within the 3300MHz-5000MHz range alongside proposed measures for supporting IoT development. The Committee proposed ‘a vision on the implementation of IoT in Kyrgyzstan’, informed by studies on IoT development in other countries.

In the US, Cox Communications announced it is entering into a partnership with Henderson, Nevada to pilot its smart technology in the city’s Water Street District Innovation Corridor. Cox2M, the IoT business line of Cox Communications, will test several solutions in the area to help address challenges like energy and water conservation, public safety and economic development efforts. The objective of the pilot will be to measure the overall impact and value created by these smart community solutions. The one-year pilot will begin in early 2020 and may include: crowd counting and vehicle detection to improve parking and provide greater public safety during events; smart water meters; smart lighting controls to lower energy, maintenance and operational costs; and data analytics to improve economic development efforts, inter-departmental communication and reporting in the city.

US satellite pay-TV operator and start-up 5G/IoT provider DISH Network plans to deploy 10,000 sites on its 5G network by the end of 2022, reports Fierce Wireless, quoting DISH chairman Charlie Ergen who was speaking at the T-Mobile/Sprint merger antitrust trial this week. Ergen also said at the trial that DISH has deployed 750 of the 1,000 sites it requires for the upcoming NB-IoT network, while DISH is committed to reaching 15,000 5G sites in 2023 as part of the Department of Justice’s merger-related agreements, which among other things include DISH acquiring Sprint’s pre-paid assets and 850MHz spectrum, and entering into a favourable MVNO agreement with T-Mobile.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is exploring potential use cases for spectrum in the 5.9GHz band. FCC chairman Ajit Pai commented: ‘Exactly 20 years ago, the Commission allocated 75MHz of spectrum in the 5.9GHz band for a technology called Dedicated Short-Range Communications, or DSRC. DSRC was designed to facilitate motor vehicle-related communications. But unfortunately, it’s never been widely deployed … We’re proposing to designate the lower 45MHz of the 5.9GHz band exclusively for unlicensed uses like Wi-Fi … Another part of our proposal advances the cause of automotive safety. Specifically, we’re proposing to reserve the remaining 30MHz of spectrum in the 5.9GHz band exclusively for transportation-related communications technologies [notably Cellular Vehicle to Everything, or C-V2X].’

Vodafone Czech Republic is implementing 5G mobile test networks in the cities of Usti nad Labem, Jesenik and Karlovy Vary, all three of which will gain state support for development of 5G/smart cities technologies. City applications suggested include: transport optimisation, energy and waste management, augmented reality for virtual city guides, and autonomous urban mobility.

Japan’s NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com) and Denso Corporation will begin validating their jointly developed Vehicle Security Operation Center (V-SOC) technology for monitoring and analysing the security status of vehicles from January 2020. The two companies are creating technology to underpin resilient security solutions for connected cars in response to cyberattacks ‘which are growing more sophisticated and stealthy’, requiring ‘security technology that can swiftly detect and analyse cyberattacks and then seamlessly provide the appropriate support according to the situation.’

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