IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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17 Dec 2020

Indian state-backed network operator BSNL has announced the launch of a ‘world first’ satellite-based NB-IoT service, the Economic Times reported. The new service will have blanket nationwide coverage, including land areas where mobile towers are not present, and also covering seas. US-based Skylo has developed the satellite NB-IoT devices for use in India, which according to BSNL will be provided exclusively via the state-run firm at a price of around INR10,000 (USD136) per unit. The square-shaped device ‘can be carried by users across any part of the country and connect with their smartphones for two-way communication’, according to the report. BSNL added that the technology has already been tested successfully in various segments, including Indian Railways, fishing vessels and for enabling connected vehicles across India. BSNL board director Vivek Banzal said: ‘Successful POCs [proof of concepts] have already been conducted by BSNL and Skylo in India and we will soon approach various user groups before the New Year 2021 begins.’

LoRaWAN-based IoT/smart city connectivity provider Connexin is gearing up to roll out a ‘nationwide’ UK network, reports IoTtechnews. The Hull-based operator promises to expand its existing carrier-grade LoRa footprint – with several new regions to be confirmed within the next few months – building on successful deployments in cities including Hull, Sheffield and Newcastle. Initial customers include Yorkshire Water, Hull City Council, and road maintenance provider Amey.

BT Group has formed a consortium to deliver ‘a series of industry use cases across the UK’s first commercial drone corridor’. BT, together with Altitude Angel and a number of UK tech start-ups, have been selected by UK Research & Innovation to deliver ‘Project XCelerate’ which will establish the drone corridor in open and unrestricted airspace, located south of Reading, Berkshire. In summer 2021, the project will conduct flight trials along the 8km-long corridor to demonstrate how drones can operate safely in the same airspace as manned aviation. The consortium will demonstrate key industry use cases across healthcare, emergency services and infrastructure to illustrate how drone deliveries and inspection can benefit businesses, the public sector and citizens.

Orange Poland announced that it now has two million M2M/IoT SIM cards active on its mobile network, claiming that this represents about 40% of the country total. Orange, which operates a nationwide LTE-M network alongside legacy M2M cellular services, highlights important M2M/IoT usage areas including payment systems, remote water/electricity metering, vehicle navigation, various IoT sensor solutions, medical care, smart city solutions (currently used by more than 80 cities in Poland, according to Orange), bike/scooter rental (with 20 cities now within the Smart Bikes scheme) and transport/logistics solutions.

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India, Poland, United Kingdom, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), BT Group (incl. Openreach), Connexin, Orange Poland