IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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11 Feb 2021

Sweden-based Telia Company has declared that its new Telia Global IoT Connectivity solution can save companies ‘an average of 28% of the cost of global IoT communications’. The solution enables businesses and other organisations to securely control and manage all their global IoT data and all connections from a single portal, and incorporates four key components: Telia eSIM with eUICC functionality; a global ecosystem of pre-integrated operators (IoT networks with local profiles in over ten countries in four continents alongside over 400 network roaming partners); a unique programmable network; and a cloud platform.

Ericsson and T-Systems, a subsidiary of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, have signed an agreement to offer campus network solutions worldwide, based on Ericsson’s Campus Network infrastructure and T-Systems’ Edge Computing capabilities, delivering an integrated end-to-end solution to directly meet the site connectivity needs of enterprise customers. Campus networks seamlessly combine public and private wireless connectivity to support diverse, innovative enterprise use cases. Locations include factory shop floors, logistics centres, airports, ports, oil and gas campuses and power plants. The solution delivers low latency, high volume on-site data processing and high data security. In the latest such deployment announced by Ericsson, the Swedish vendor has partnered Russian operator Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) to deploy a dedicated private LTE/5G-ready network for steel and mining company EVRAZ’s Sheregeshskaya mine in south-central Russia, built on the Ericsson Dedicated Networks solution. The network will support upgrades to 5G in the future without requiring significant changes in its architecture.

Dutch operator VodafoneZiggo has partnered Arox Smart Technologies, VMware, Dell EMC, University of Groningen, TNO and Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen under the 5Groningen initiative to pilot 5G drones and edge computing for autonomous counting of goods in large warehouses. A number of large companies from the Netherlands and elsewhere have already shown interest in the innovation.

Japan’s KDDI, KDDI America and US-based Station Digital Media have formed a ‘capital and business alliance’ for international development of connected cars and IoT, aiming to provide one-stop services ranging from communications to service platforms and mobile applications for connected vehicle/IoT devices. As part of the agreement, KDDI acquired shares in Station Digital Media, which provides applications and products for connected services with a particular focus on mobile solutions for connected cars. KDDI currently provides over 16 million IoT network connections to companies around the world, and its Global Communications Platform is used in 79 countries; the Platform automatically connects vehicles to the appropriate communication carriers selected for each country or region and monitors communication status in an integrated manner. Also this week, KDDI, via KDDI Open Innovation Fund 3, has invested in another US firm, Swift Navigation, which offers an ecosystem of GPS/GNSS positioning solutions for autonomous vehicle, mobile and mass-market applications, providing ‘centimetre precise’ positioning for a range of autonomous applications that include automotive autonomy, advanced driver assistance features and connected car, drone, rail, and industrial machinery.

Sigfox has partnered with Google Cloud to scale its cloud infrastructure and extend its IoT services portfolio, to enable the France-based global LPWA network provider to rapidly accelerate its ‘Massive IoT’ agenda. Sigfox networks are present in 72 countries, covering more than 1.3 billion people, with roughly 1.8 billion messages processed each month (an increase of 145% in 2020) from 17 million-plus connected objects/devices. The company sought a ‘more scalable, long-term solution’ and Google Cloud was chosen as the backbone for Sigfox’s ‘0G’ network to bring better scale, increased reliability, and best-of-breed compliance and security. Google Cloud says it will also enable faster improvements to Sigfox’s connectivity, geolocation, and other value-added services towards ultra-low-cost and ultra-low-power IoT solutions. Another operator signing up with Google Cloud this week, Canada’s Telus, announced a ten-year strategic alliance ‘to co-innovate on new services and solutions that support digital transformation within key industries, including communications technology, healthcare, agriculture, security, and connected home.’ Telus and Google Cloud’s collaboration will also accelerate the telco’s IT and network modernisation initiatives, enabling further operational agility and supporting improved customer experiences, whilst continuing to partner with the Canadian group’s own digital transformation unit, Telus International.

Spain’s Telefonica, Mavenir and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are working on a pre-commercial managed IoT connectivity service to be offered by Telefonica using Mavenir’s packet core solution and AWS’ cloud infrastructure. The objective is ‘to reinvent the way IoT connectivity services are delivered, reducing cost and latency by combining cloud technology with cellular connectivity to provide Telefonica customers in any country with a local shortcut to the internet from the nearest AWS region.’ The service will be managed through Telefonica’s Kite IoT platform, which provides a simple interface accessible from anywhere via the web or APIs so that industrial, manufacturing, public sector and automotive customers can better manage and control their IoT connectivity. The use of the cloud enables advanced, new functionalities for end users that were not previously possible: local data processing/storage, direct connectivity to other cloud services, and global low latency.

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