Kenya’s Safaricom has expanded a collaboration with M-Gas begun in January this year, in which the network operator provides NB-IoT connectivity for smart meters, aiming to supply clean and affordable energy to millions of Kenyan households. The pair are working on further joint technology development, expertise sharing, co-creation of solutions and market support. Residential customers make pay-as-you-go M-PESA payments for the M-Gas service, and the smart meter sends an alert via NB-IoT when gas runs low, prompting a replacement cylinder to be despatched, with no additional delivery charges. In the eight months since its launch, M-Gas has enrolled more than 6,500 users in one zone of Nairobi, aiming for 10,000 users in October, and intends to expand to more areas within the capital and across the country. Safaricom owns an 18.39% stake in M-Gas’ parent Circle Gas.
Vodafone Ukraine has announced success in its NB-IoT smart metering pilot projects in two cities, in collaboration with utility Vodokanals. Equipment is installed at commercial metering units in the water supply systems, collecting data on volumes used by Vodokanals for analytics, planning of pumping station loads and integration into billing systems. The cellco announced that the tests confirmed the 1800MHz NB-IoT network’s readiness to launch a commercial service for housing and communal services market operators and development companies.
Netherlands-based M2M/IoT/MVNO operator MCS is offering an auxiliary service, ‘Private Connect LoRa’ alongside its existing ‘Private Connect LTE’ service, providing a private LoRa IoT network for companies and organisations, in partnership with Kerlink. MCS’ service range includes 2G/3G/4G/5G M2M SIM management plus LoRa and Sigfox-based solutions; the operator claims over a million connected devices in the Netherlands and elsewhere.
In Spain, Telefonica, Ferrovial Servicios and Tellink Sistemas de Comunicacion have deployed an NB-IoT-based remote solution for management of lighting from a single control point, to improve efficiency and save energy. The main target customers for the new lighting solution are city councils and other authorities/communities, with early-adopting clients in Alcantarilla and Gozon having already deployed 1,200 and 5,000 lights, respectively. These deployments followed pilot schemes in Guadalajara, Alcobendas and Torrejon de Ardoz. The new system allows remote and real-time control of each point of light individually or jointly, allowing the on-off and setting of the brightness level according to natural light cycles, and controlling its operation by monitoring different parameters such as individual energy consumption.
Vodafone New Zealand has launched the ‘Connect by xone’ end-to-end IoT platform for enterprises to manage IoT assets nationally, while giving local businesses options to connect to Vodafone Group’s global platform. Connect by xone is a localised version of the group’s Global Data Service Platform, with more than 100 million IoT connections worldwide. Vodafone New Zealand – a non-subsidiary partner of the UK-based group – claims over 1.6 million M2M/IoT connections including energy meters, sensors, medical devices and tracking assets.
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