IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

20 Feb 2020

Lithuanian mobile operator Bite Lietuva has launched a project in Vilnius to connect and monitor more than 8,000 water meters via its new NB-IoT network, in partnership with municipal water management company Vilniaus Vandenys and Lithuanian tech firm Navitus LT. The project has so far equipped around 150 meters and is scheduled for completion by April 2021. A spokesperson said: ‘NB-IoT is far more penetrative than traditional communications solutions and can therefore access even devices underground.’ Bite claimed in a press release that it is ‘the first mobile operator in Lithuania to have a real commercial NB-IoT solution in its network’, although as reported in IoT Time (23 January 2020) rival Lithuanian cellco Telia Lietuva has already claimed a national first with the commercial launch of NB-IoT network services last month.

Indian network operator Bharti Airtel has partnered Nokia to offer a private LTE based Industry 4.0 solution to enterprises, targeting banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), information technology enabled services (ITES), media and services, manufacturing and distribution with technologies such as cloud, IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and edge computing concepts. In addition, the two companies will explore the development of 5G use cases for enterprise users. Industry 4.0 relies on low-latency, high-reliability networks as well as capabilities in robotics and artificial intelligence to drive new levels of automation and data exchange in manufacturing industries, resulting in improved operational efficiency and reduced costs. Airtel serves over 2,500 large businesses and over 500,000 SMBs and technology start-ups across India.

Vodafone UK has launched Smart Vision, a suite of IoT smart surveillance solutions developed in partnership with Digital Barriers, which operates over Vodafone’s 2G/3G/4G and 5G ready networks, targeting a range of sectors including security, construction, manufacturing, utilities, retail and the public sector. The Vodafone Bodyworn Vision Camera provides front line operators such as police officers, healthcare professionals or field engineers with the ability to film incidents, to live stream at the touch of a button, and to retrieve footage in HD either onsite or remotely. Vodafone City Vision Surveillance Solution is a connected digital encoder fitted to an organisation’s existing surveillance infrastructure to deliver an intelligent digital solution in a cost-effective manner; footage is captured in high definition and specific incidents can be live streamed where required and all footage is watermarked and stored securely.

German giant Deutsche Telekom (DT) has partnered Sweden-based Telia Company to extend DT’s IoT services into Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Estonia and Lithuania, Capacity Media reports. Telekom Slovenije in Slovenia has also joined DTs IoT Solution Optimizer ecosystem, which was launched last year, as has Latvian operator Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT), in which Telia is a major shareholder. DT says that additional operators are scheduled to follow suit in the course of 2020. DT has already signed a number of IoT consultancies to join the scheme, including Axxessio and Orbit IT-Solutions in Germany and One:solutions Engineering in Austria. DT’s own networks currently offer IoT coverage in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and the US.

China Telecom Global (CTG) and German IoT carrier 1NCE have formed a partnership to deliver high-quality IoT connectivity. China Telecom operates the largest NB-IoT network in China, with more than 410,000 base stations, while the collaboration makes 1NCE ‘one of the first IoT carriers worldwide to offer a high-quality solution for seamless NB-IoT and 4G connectivity in Europe and Asia’, according to a press release. 1NCE’s multi-coverage SIM card allows for smooth transitioning between different mobile communication standards including 2G, 3G, 4G and NB-IoT. Kim Juchem, COO at 1NCE, said: ‘By harnessing CTG’s Tier-1 network and extending our IoT coverage to mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, we are strengthening 1NCE’s role as the pioneer of simple international cellular IoT connectivity. We can now help our customers expand their IoT solutions to these valuable markets. This advantage allows us to offer our customers a seamless NB-IoT experience across Europe and Asia at the competitive IoT flat rate of just EUR10.’

Slovenia’s Telekom Slovenije and telecoms solution provider Iskratel have launched a cooperation in the development of 5G networking solutions, aiming to deploy 4G/5G hybrid public-private networks for ‘smart industry’ (or Industry 4.0), initially focusing on smart factory use cases. A press release declared: ‘5G brings new opportunities for the development of innovative high value-added ICT solutions and as such it will support advanced multimedia services, secure development of the Internet of Things (IoT), digitalisation of business verticals and much more. At Telekom Slovenije, we are designing our smart 5G infrastructure in such a way that we can provide, on top of communication services, numerous virtual dedicated networks for individual business verticals, and one such project is the development with Iskratel … As the manufacturing industry has taken the sector lead with the largest number of IoT deployment projects in 2019, the smart factory has become a key 5G use case. Co-innovation around evolving standards and interconnectivity is a particular historical strength of Iskratel, so we indeed share the vision of evolving hybrid solutions for an IoT and AI powered world: from 4G now to 5G in the very near future and private networks seamlessly interconnected to public networks.’

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China, India, Lithuania, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom, Bharti Airtel, Bite Lithuania, China Telecom Global, Deutsche Telekom (DT), Telekom Slovenije (incl. Mobitel), Telia Company, Vodafone UK