IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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16 Jul 2020

Vodafone UK has partnered with Skyports and Deloitte to transport medical supplies for NHS Scotland using drones via its LTE mobile network. The drone flights will begin later this year, the operator announced, supporting the NHS response to COVID-19 with the aim of preventing the spread of the virus. Supplies including medicine, personal protective equipment and testing kits will be flown to hospitals and medical practices in locations including remote Scottish islands Argyll and Bute. Vodafone says that drones will reduce delivery times to ‘30 minutes’ compared to ‘up to 48 hours’ using existing transport, while a report commissioned by the mobile giant found that drone transportation was 95% cheaper on average.

The LoRa Alliance has formed a strategic liaison with non-profit organisation the Smart Water Networks Forum to advance smart data-driven solutions in water networks, and drive adoption of the LoRaWAN open standard in the water metering sector. A press release quotes a market study by IoT Analytics stating that utilities – and water metering in particular – remains the leading application for low power wide area (LPWA) network technologies and will occupy the largest market segment over the next five years, with an estimated 30% of the installed LPWA base in 2025. LoRa Alliance CEO Donna Moore said: ‘Given the significant market opportunity, our two organisations will work together to drive a number of marketing initiatives with members. This work will strengthen the ecosystem and bring valuable solutions to utility companies and public utilities end customers across the globe.’ The LoRa Alliance website currently shows that there are 137 LoRaWAN network operators in 157 countries.

Deutsche Telekom has selected the ‘AirOn’ eSIM management platform from Germany’s G+D Mobile Security for its ‘nuSIM’ integrated IoT SIM solution, enabling secure loading of individual SIM data onto chips during the module or device manufacturing process. AirOn was developed for the secure lifecycle management of eSIMs and has been extended to support the Data Preparator function for the emerging nuSIM ecosystem. Deutsche Telekom announced: ‘With the availability of the first nuSIM Data Preparator, the nuSIM profile provisioning chain is finally complete. Operators around the world can now use G+D’s AirOn service to provide nuSIM profiles to their IoT customers.’ nuSIM has been specifically designed for low-cost devices to move the functionality of the physical SIM into the modem chipset and eliminate the requirements for logistics, warehousing and handling of separate SIM components.

Egypt-based Cloud Services Group (CSG) – a provider of Cloud, Enterprise and IoT solutions, owned and operated by Kuwaiti ISP Zajil Telecom – has become a software partner of UK-based Pod Group, a specialist in advanced connectivity solutions tailored to IoT applications. The global agreement extends Pod Group’s telematics capabilities by offering its customers a complete suite of fleet management and tracking modules compatible with Gurtam’s Wialon GPS monitoring platform and Pod’s multi-network connectivity, with a focus on CSG’s strongest markets of presence in the Middle East (particularly Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), Africa and Canada. A press release adds that over 2,000 telematics devices are compatible with Wialon, which in combination with CSG’s Fleet Edge Master software and Pod’s IoT SIM cards with coverage in over 185 countries on 600-plus networks, will allow hardware manufacturers and systems integrators to create comprehensive end-to-end GPS solutions.

Telefonica and Erictel, a Spanish IoT solutions developer, have expanded their collaboration to develop and commercialise new IoT and Big Data mobility solutions, including the management of field forces and asset tracking in all markets where Telefonica operates, building on their existing partnerships in M2M solutions in Latin America and Spain. A press release states that such solutions help companies to better plan and execute their operations, ensuring sustainability, efficiency, and security, and enabling new business models, whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of digitisation and process automation, indicating how data-based decision making can keep businesses competitive. Telefonica Tech’s IoT solutions enable location and remote monitoring of assets’ status to plan activity and availability of resources, while amid the increasing trend of remote working, workforce management solutions facilitate the task of planning and securing the activity of mobile workers and field forces.

Switzerland’s Sunrise Communications has deployed the Comarch IoT Connect Platform to ‘store, sell, connect, monitor and manage all IoT devices comprehensively’, the operator announced. Comarch software is being integrated into Sunrise’s OSS/BSS/Enterprise ecosystem and technical infrastructure, with the first stage of the project – involving integration with the Sunrise IT environment and network – already implemented. Alexander Lehrmann, director of new business development at Sunrise, said: ‘With the Sunrise IoT connect platform we can create tailored offerings for each customer within minutes.’

Rogers Communications has collaborated with smart city platform provider bciti to deliver critical smart city services in Canada, enabling remote real-time access to municipal services, information and alerts via smartphones or home internet connections. Dean Prevost, president of Rogers’ business division, said: ‘Now more than ever, it is vital for cities and local government leaders to keep Canadians connected to the latest information and services from anywhere, at any time.’ The system also includes an intelligent dashboard that anticipates residents’ needs based on analytics driven by city data and AI.

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