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IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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15 Oct 2020

Japanese carrier KDDI has partnered with Orange Business Services, Toyota and Mazda to support the rollout of a connected car service in Europe, reports Capacity. KDDI said it will equip over a million vehicles across the continent with connected IoT services supported by Orange Business Services’ customised IoT platform for use by Japanese car manufacturers. The platform allows them to offer connected car capabilities in their vehicles when sold across 63 European countries/territories, via Orange mobile networks and roaming facilities, with secure cloud connections using Orange backbone networks providing secure interconnections between the parties’ platforms. KDDI Europe’s managing director Ken Sakai said: ‘The bespoke Orange IoT platform provides new levels of convenience in terms of personalised services to Toyota and Mazda across Europe. This allows their drivers to benefit from the very best in safety, security and in-car experience.’

New Zealand’s Spark has entered a Trans-Tasman agreement with Australian LoRaWAN network operator National Narrowband Network Co (NNNCo) enabling mutual access across their respective LoRaWAN IoT networks to allow businesses in both countries to implement cost-effective smart technology solutions without needing to set up overseas operations. The wholesale arrangement has been enabled with the integration of NNNCo’s enterprise data platform N2N-DL into Spark’s network core. Data from devices will feed into N2N-DL giving Spark customers access to data on a single platform from devices activated in either country. One of the first customers to benefit is parking app provider Parkable, whose CEO Toby Littin said: ‘Due to customer demand we want to push harder into the Australian market so this agreement will allow us to scale our Parkable offering across the Tasman and simplify our back-end processes. Using the one platform and having a single place to view and analyse data will mean our customers will get even better parking experiences in the future.’

Spark has also partnered with Auckland Transport to demo IoT-based smart city services connected via a combination of 5G cellular and LoRaWAN networks, including smart lighting, smart benches with charging capability, smart bins, and parking sensors in the Wynyard Quarter of the city. In addition to reducing energy consumption, selected smart lights have also been fitted with 5G connected CCTV aimed at better detection of criminal activity, capturing high definition video at night. 200 smart parking sensors are being deployed in the Quarter (in partnership with Parkable) while the project also has scope for developing air and noise pollution monitoring systems. A press release from Spark declared: ‘5G will eventually allow for one million devices to be connected per square kilometre on a continual basis, generating data that will help governments, councils and businesses respond quickly, allocate resources wisely and plan for the future, which will ultimately improve services and amenities for New Zealanders.’

Edison Interactive, an IoT and Digital-out-of-Home software solution provider, announced an agreement with Canadian carrier Telus to power its connected vehicle platform expansion in Canada. The launch began with Edison Interactive’s expansion of the Avis Budget Group’s Travel Assistant product in Canada, which provides rental car customers features including: turn-by-turn directions, unlimited international calls and texts, Google Translate, local discounts and offers, games and entertainment, streaming audio/video. Travel Assistant also includes a rental partner app marketplace and a remote communication tool for rental car companies.

Another Canadian operator Rogers Communications has teamed up with 1Valet to launch Rogers Smart Community, a smart platform for multi-residential communities and condominiums aimed at creating a ‘unified experience’ for residents, property managers and their staff. Residents will have access to smartphone-centric services including hands-free digital building access, video guest verification, and facial recognition access. For operations staff, the platform enables remote multi-building management, while also bringing together otherwise disconnected building systems such as cameras, access control, resident management, and package delivery into one integrated management portal. A five-year agreement sees Rogers offering 1Valet’s turnkey smart building platform to its ‘Ignite’ internet customers across Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

Russian broadband network operator ER-Telecom ( has implemented a solution in St Petersburg to simplify access to social facilities for people with limited mobility or vision, in partnership with Spetstechnopribor under the framework of the ‘Talking City’ programme. The system involves sensors installed on public transport, subway entrances, cultural institutions, shopping centres, traffic lights and other locations, transmitting information messages to the user’s mobile device, and can also be integrated with ER-Telecom’s ‘smart intercom’ door access service. Also this week, ER-Telecom presented new services at the ‘Online & Offline Retail’ forum event, including solutions for the retail industry such as video analytics for tracking queues and identifying people, shelf stock level monitoring, Wi-Fi-based client communications/personalised customer offers, and a solution for remotely measuring body temperatures of large groups of people.

Also in Russia, TelecomDaily reported that over six million vehicles are connected to the ERA-GLONASS automated emergency response system, up from five million reported in February this year, following its launch in 2017. ERA-GLONASS operates in a similar fashion to the EU’s eCall system, automatically alerting emergency services with location data in the event of a road accident. The system is connected via satellite GPS and several mobile networks.

In Spain, Telefonica Empresas, Geotab, Mobileye and car-sharing firm ZITY have installed telemetry and driving assistance solutions in 100 fleet vehicles for a pilot under the ‘Safe Driving’ project. The main solutions incorporated for the pilot are: the Mobileye ADAS Driving Assistance System (designed to reduce traffic accidents using a single camera to monitor driving and warn drivers in real time of risks and potential collisions), the Geotab GO Device (based on Geotab’s fleet management solution) and Geotab GO TALK Devices (a voice message solution that provides drivers with real-time audio messages and feedback).

A1 Belarus has reported a successful pilot based on its NB-IoT network in partnership with power company Gomelenergo in the Gomel region, improving the safety of electrical installations and saving costs. The power grid solution involves a security device connected via NB-IoT which controls the opening of transformer substation doors, installation/disarming with an electronic key or remotely, sounds an alarm in the case of unauthorised access, measures the voltage level at the substation and transmits status data which enables inspection teams to be sent in a timely manner if required.

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