IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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11 Mar 2021

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (FNA) has awarded a nationwide 20-year 450MHz frequency licence to critical infrastructure operator 450connect, which announced that it will begin a national LTE-450 radio network expansion shortly. 450connect is backed by a joint venture of four equal partners: Alliander, a consortium of regional energy suppliers, E.ON and the utility alliance 450 (consisting of a large number of mostly municipal utilities, energy and water suppliers with the participation of the EnBW subsidiary Netze BW). 450connect previously expanded regional 450MHz radio networks to cover more than 20% of Germany, with the first sub-networks already in operation. The company highlights that its 450MHz platform is standardised worldwide for machine-to-machine applications, and supports a crisis-proof and highly available communications network with very good area/in-building coverage via a relatively small number of radio locations, with its plan projecting deployment of 1,600 radio sites by end-2024. Network access will be offered to companies and organisations with critical communication requirements on a non-discriminatory basis.

Sweden’s Talkpool has finalised the sale of all shares in Nordic IoT Networks to Netmore Group. The deal is valued at at least SEK7.5 million (USD881,000) plus a future success bonus. A statement said that ‘the collaboration with Netmore ensures a nationwide IoT network that enables large-scale rollout of new solutions related to moisture, water damage and radon for customers in the insurance and real estate industry.’

ZTE and the Sichuan branch of China Telecom have launched their first ‘5G + VR’ system in West China Hospital in Sichuan province. The system employs the 5G network, medical robots, 360-degree 8K panoramic cameras, VR glasses and other technical means to achieve remote visits to patients in ICUs. Patients’ family members wear VR glasses at designated places in the hospital, and the medical robot automatically moves towards the patients’ beds. By virtue of the 5G network with high-speed and low-latency transmission, the real-time 8K resolution panoramic video inside the ICU supports real-time two-way interactive communication between family members and patients.

SmarTone has expanded its 5G network to Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) hotels and has also deployed its first 5G robot ‘WW’ at the W Hong Kong hotel, offering customers concierge services and responding to their enquires by connecting to the cloud. ‘SmarTone is delighted to collaborate with SHKP hotels to bring faster, stabler and smoother 5G network experience to hotel guests. We will continue to dedicate our efforts to innovations and delivering the highest quality 5G network experience to our customers,’ said Josephine Lam, head of sales and marketing at SmarTone. ‘With the 5G robot and other technology-enabled features, we are confident that our guests can enjoy a truly memorable stay in our hotels,’ commented Tasos Kousloglou, CEO (Hotel Division) of SHKP.

Telefonica, APM Terminals (APMT) and Mobile World Capital Barcelona are working on a pilot project to use 5G technologies to improve safety in the Port of Barcelona. The 5G network will connect cranes, vehicles, and operators, by merging advanced communication and localisation technologies. The goal of the pilot is to minimise the potential risks of collisions between mobile machinery and fixed elements, vehicles, and people in the port terminal. Telefonica’s 5G network and the low latency it brings will mean improved communications for Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) at the port. Using 5G and Edge Computing, the pilot aims to turn APMT Barcelona into a safer space for workers with enhanced coordination of port traffic. The pilot project will harness Edge computing technologies from Telefonica’s Virtual Data Centre (VDC) service. All data communicated by the cranes, trucks and pedestrian personnel is sent securely to an application located geographically very close (i.e. at the network Edge) to their place of consumption in order to offer immediate responses.

Lastly, Tele2 Sweden and Q-commerce online retailer foodora are to collaborate on a pilot project to utilise autonomous self-driving droids for home deliveries in Stockholm. The Doora droids will connect to the foodora hub via Tele2’s 5G network, transporting food and other products weighing up to 20kg. Stefan Trampus, executive vice-president at Tele2 B2B IoT, commented: ‘It is exciting that we … can carry out this test and get the opportunity to show the concrete benefits for both consumers and companies with 5G and IoT, such as stability, fast response rate, and higher speeds. With Doora, we really show what we can do with 5G, both now and in the future.’

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