IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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18 Mar 2021

Telefonica Argentina (Movistar) has launched an NB-IoT network pilot in partnership with electricity provider Edenor, enabling remote smart meter reading and supporting remote detection of faults, clandestine connections, cuts and other alerts in the power distribution network. As reported by El Economista, pilot NB-IoT meter connectivity has been launched in 20 municipalities in the northwest of Greater Buenos Aires and the Federal Capital district, following six months of tests, training and data analysis. Oscar Kovalow, Edenor’s Telecommunications Manager, said of the launch: ‘This technology allows the development of efficient, safe and reliable communications, using a very low bandwidth with a high durability of the device batteries.’

Saudi Telecom Company (stc) and Cubic Telecom are partnering to accelerate the introduction of in-car communication solutions in line with the regulations for vehicles sold in Saudi Arabia. Cubic software enables the registration of no-touch devices and in-car connectivity that are pre-configured for the local regulatory requirements. stc is working with Cubic on a range of in-car services, including eCall support, which will become mandatory in the Kingdom; the system automatically alerts emergency services in the event of an accident. Cubic says it currently provides connectivity software solutions in more than four million vehicles and devices in more than 90 countries.

Russian mobile operator MegaFon is deploying a private LTE network at the Udokan copper mining and metallurgical plant, supporting automated control systems, e.g. real-time monitoring of the fuel level in mining trucks, tire pressure, utilisation rate, downtime and metal ore contents of vehicles, plus geolocation for tracking employees and responding to emergencies. Remote-control working capabilities of the local network – and others like it – will be fully realised with the future transition to 5G.

Global IoT network services operator 1NCE has expanded its NB-IoT coverage in Europe. In addition to Germany and Austria, 1NCE’s IoT Flat Rate service now includes NB-IoT connectivity in the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Italy and the UK, while also offering NB-IoT in China, enabling economical cross-border deployment for narrowband low-power IoT solutions such as gas/water/electricity metering/supply, asset tracking in logistics or sensors in waste management, smart farming or building automation. To date, 1NCE has over 4,000 customers with five million active connections worldwide; for a one-time fee of EUR10 (USD11.90) IoT devices can communicate via multimode SIM cards on 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE-M and NB-IoT networks for ten years, inclusive of 500MB data and 250 SMS, available in over 100 countries.

A new GBP400,000 (USD556,000) project between the Scottish Highland Council and North – developer of the IoT Scotland LoRaWAN network – will transform schools, care homes, leisure centres and council offices into smart buildings across the Highlands. The project will use the IoT Scotland network (developed in partnership with Kerlink and the Scottish government) with smart IoT sensors to collect data and gain insights on buildings including CO2 levels, temperature and humidity, ventilation, electricity consumption and light levels.

IoT solutions and connectivity provider KORE Wireless has agreed to merge with Cerberus Telecom Acquisition Corp and the combined company expects to list on the New York Stock Exchange around mid-2021. A press release says that KORE delivers mission-critical IoT enterprise solutions and Connectivity-as-a-Service to more than 3,600 customers worldwide, including Fortune 500 enterprises, managing over twelve million connected devices across a range of industries. With the global IoT market projected to grow to nearly USD1 trillion by 2025, KORE believes it is well-positioned to expand organically and through accretive acquisitions.

Russia’s ER-Telecom has launched a pilot project in Altai Territory with the regional Ministry of Agriculture to create a digital service utilising agrometeorological data from field weather stations on farms. Various indicators will be used including air and soil humidity, ambient air and soil temperature at different depths, wind speed and many more, with data analysis enabling planning of agricultural work, forecasting crop development, and choosing the most effective methods of using fertilisers and plant protection products. ER-Telecom also this week signed a cooperation agreement with the governor of the Chelyabinsk region to cooperate on digitalisation projects in various sectors including social and educational facilities alongside a Smart City project incorporating video surveillance and video analytics, and industrial IoT proposals for energy facilities, housing and communal services and intelligent transport systems in the region. Previously, ER has implemented similar projects in regions including Perm Territory, St Petersburg, Moscow, Orenburg, Irkutsk and others.

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Argentina, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United States, 1NCE, Cubic Telecom, ER-Telecom (Dom.ru), IoT Scotland, Kerlink, KORE Wireless, MegaFon, Saudi Telecom Company (stc), Telefonica Argentina (Movistar)