IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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11 Jun 2020

O2 UK has announced that its LTE-M IoT network has been expanded to 10,000 sites, spanning the east of the country and covering 57% of UK premises and 58% of the population. O2 says the LTE-M network will allow consumers and businesses to make the most of next-gen IoT technologies in their day-to-day lives, in a press release highlighting uses such as smart meters, logistics, manufacturing, safety and smart cities applications.

Vodafone UK has signed a ten-year deal with SES Water to provide its NB-IoT technology to create an intelligent water distribution network that aims to cut leakage by 15% over the next five years and pave the way for more than halving it by 2045. The project, now underway across east Surrey, west Kent, West Sussex and south London, follows Vodafone’s smart water network pilot with South East Water last year.

Austrian regional broadband/mobile operator LIWEST and its parent LINZ AG have launched a 5G campus network utilising IoT technology and robotics at the Spallerhof senior centre in Linz, in partnership with Huawei. A health robot supports the nursing staff at the centre performing functions such as detecting increased body temperature among visitors, thereby reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection. In March 2019 LIWEST acquired 80MHz of 5G-suitable spectrum for the Upper Austria and Linz region. Group director-general Erich Haider declared upon launching the 5G health project: ‘While LIWEST focuses on the area-wide network expansion and the availability for the fastest internet, LINZ AG TELEKOM will provide Upper Austria companies with fast, highly reliable 5G campus networks exclusively and tailored. With this in mind, we are delighted to have successfully integrated the first health robot into our 5G mobile network.’

Canada’s Rogers Communications has launched a 5G smart city transportation pilot in partnership with the City of Kelowna and the University of British Columbia (UBC). Sensors powered by Rogers’ 5G network are being installed at two intersections in downtown Kelowna, to gather anonymous vehicle and foot traffic patterns. The data collected will be used by UBC researchers to help find ways to improve vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist safety, and to develop technology that can instantly deploy emergency vehicles when the sensors detect a collision.

ZDNet reports that Singapore telco M1 and Airbus have partnered to pilot the use of 5G to operate unmanned aerial vehicles in real-world environments. The trials will assess whether these can run safely and efficiently throughout the duration of their flights, including in designated drone-fly zones. Coastal trials will run on M1’s 5G standalone network, at the Singapore Maritime Drone Estate, with future plans to conduct connectivity trials for inland areas, which would enable the partners to tap growing interest in unmanned aircraft systems from other industries.

Far EasTone, Delta Electronics and Microsoft have partnered to deploy Taiwan’s first 5G pilot smart manufacturing plant at Delta’s production site in Taoyuan, reports DigiTimes, with the project utilising IoT, AI, cloud and big data analysis technologies, using Far EasTone’s 3.5GHz spectrum allocation.

Germany’s Telekom Deutschland and Austria’s A1 have both recently launched IoT systems to monitor shop/restaurant capacity, with sensors at store entrances counting customers entering and leaving the premises, to enable businesses to meet social distancing rules as they gradually re-open following COVID-19 shutdowns.

In Belgium, Citymesh is erecting 250 smart cameras the length and breadth of the Flemish Riviera to monitor people on beaches, as part of measures intended to stem the spread of COVID-19. Quoted by VRT.be, Citymesh’s Mitch De Geest said: ‘We use camera technology to analyse the pictures, but the pictures aren’t forwarded to the police or anyone else. Nobody else has access to the pictures. We are simply supplying information on the size of crowds at the seaside.’ However, Belgium’s data privacy authority intends to investigate.

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Austria, Canada, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Citymesh, Far EasTone (FET), Huawei Technologies, LIWEST, M1, Microsoft, O2 UK, Rogers Communications, Vodafone UK