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IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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12 Nov 2020

Tele2 IoT has launched an LTE-M network to support massive IoT applications. The technology has initially been deployed by Tele2 in Sweden, with an ongoing rollout looking to expand connectivity in Europe and the US. ‘LTE-M is truly a pivotal technology for IoT, and will be a key enabler for the massive IoT future,’ said Cyril Deschanel, Managing Director of Tele2 IoT. Tele2’s previous IoT launches have included a LoRaWAN network deployed in Sweden in 2016, and a global IoT platform based on Nokia’s WING platform, launched in September 2018. Swedish rival Telia meanwhile, has been commissioned to build and manage a dedicated local 5G-ready mobile network for Boliden in Aitik, Sweden’s largest copper open pit mine. The new network will enable monitoring and control of machines in mining operations, based on 4G technology from Ericsson, upgradeable to 5G.

The European Commission has launched the EUR8 million (USD9.4 million) ‘IntellIoT’ programme to support intelligent, autonomous healthcare solutions so that patients with cardiovascular diseases can receive efficient, high quality treatment remotely, while the three-year project also aims to support the rollout of IoT technologies in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. The project involves 13 partners from nine countries – including tech companies such as Siemens and Philips plus several universities – working with edge technology whereby patients receive instantaneous healthcare advice without transferring a large amount of data to central premises. IntellIoT is one of six research projects initiated by the EC in 2020 under the Next-Generation IoT banner with a EUR47.9 million EU budget.

In New Zealand, Paerata Rise, the largest housing development currently under construction in Auckland, is set to become a Smart Village with the creation of the country’s first community-based private mobile network and an autonomous shuttle for residents. Think Robotics, Dense Air and Ohmio have partnered to develop and build the system that will provide on-demand transport via a smart phone app. Both the network and the technology it will power are now in test stages and are set to go live in 2021. The current test phase utilises the small cell network deployed by Dense Air to trial different types of electronic methods and sensors to collect data and continue on-road trials of the autonomous shuttle, which arrived onsite in October.

Kazakhtelecom reports that its LoRa IoT network covers 1.8 million households in 14 cities across Kazakhstan, with a coverage area of more than 5,000 square kilometres, supporting smart city solutions, smart housing and communal services, remote meter reading and other services. The telco also announced the launch of an online marketplace for LoRa IoT devices, largely aimed at utility/energy companies, service/maintenance firms and other businesses. Kazakhtelecom is cooperating with over 130 construction companies regarding IoT projects, while currently around 200 new residential complexes are under construction within its existing LoRa coverage area.

Cavli Wireless, a cellular IoT module manufacturer, is bundling IoT modules with LTE-M connectivity in Europe and North America from Orange Business Services to provide the building blocks of the IoT value chain to its enterprise customers worldwide. Cavli says its bundled ‘Hubble’ offer enables customers to bypass upfront CAPEX of procuring IoT connectivity modules with a monthly subscription plan, while benefiting from extended battery life for IoT devices with LTE-M, paving the way for new innovations in smart city projects, healthcare, mobility, asset tracking and industry 4.0 applications like critical asset monitoring and fleet management. Among the first LTE-M-based products developed by Cavli’s customers is a smart watch for industrial workers to broadcast vital announcements and maintain health and safety logs. In the next twelve months, approximately 200,000 devices will be onboarded on its platform. Orange Business Services has also announced a partnership with Australia’s NBN Co (operator of the National Broadband Network [nbn]) via which it will add domestic managed services, including satellite and fixed internet, to its offerings for Australian enterprises, and says it will use the nbn to ‘deliver fast, competitive and reliable connectivity but also extend IT and system integration expertise to support its customers’ ever-increasing cloud, internet, bandwidth and routing optimisation needs’ and ‘provide further national and global opportunities for Australian enterprise clients.’

Thai operator DTAC has partnered the Chaipattana Foundation and the National Electronics & Computer Technology Centre (NECTEC) on a pilot IoT project at a mushroom farm in Fang, Chiang Mai, utilising DTAC’s ‘Farm Man Yum’ smart farming solutions and its Cloud Service Mobile Application. The solution aims to enable harvests in greenhouses independent of seasons while developing a knowledge base for other farmers. DTAC highlights that agriculture is a sector that it has long focused on, with the DTAC Smart Farmer community project in collaboration with Rak Ban Kerd Foundation. This week DTAC has also partnered manufacturer ASEFA to develop a Smart Monitoring & Service Care Solution for main distribution switch boards, with the Thai telco’s chief business officer Rajiv Bawa explaining: ‘The power system is the backbone of a business in the digital era. Power system security is not limited to demand and supply, but also its management. It is a vital link in the business supply chain. DTAC Business offers a multitude of IoT solutions for efficient corporate resources management, to support smart management in all dimensions of any business and to lower operating costs.’ The newly developed solution features real-time monitoring with simple-to-understand readouts to monitor temperature and humidity. Moreover, the solution can also forecast power demand, display real-time power consumption monitoring and increase power efficiency.

Swisscom is now offering its Swiss customers with multinational IoT applications an eSim/eUICC-based solution. According to Julian Domer, Head of IoT at Swisscom: ‘Global IoT needs to be simpler, which is why we have developed an additional component for Business IoT. A Swiss machine manufacturer installs our eSIM. In the destination country, the machine is connected to and integrated with all other Swiss IoT services from Swisscom via the local mobile network operator.’ The solution is already being used by Schaerer and WMF in their global coffee machine business, enabling their global IoT applications to be uniformly run on the Swisscom Connectivity Management Platform.

Spain’s Telefonica and automotive component manufacturer Gestamp have implemented a 5G-connected factory solution in one of Gestamp’s plants in Barcelona to develop Industry 4.0 network technology. The partners claimed the launch of Spain’s first 5G digitised factory for industrial processes, with Telefonica connecting the physical elements of the plant, such as the robotic welding cells, via 5G to capture and process data in real time using Multi Access Edge Computing. A ‘digital twin’ virtual model of the factory is used, making it possible to carry out simulations and optimise decision-making processes. Mercedes Fernandez, Innovation Manager at Telefonica Spain, highlighted that ‘in this case, together with Gestamp, we are making the concept of a connected factory a reality and taking an important step in Industry 4.0, one of the keys to the development of 5G and Edge Computing.’

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