IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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25 Mar 2021

Ooredoo Qatar has launched NB-IoT network services for its business customers, promising new cost-effective, energy-efficient, secure IoT connectivity solutions enabling clients to deploy IoT sensors in the field to help accelerate digital transformation, The Peninsula reports. Expanding its existing M2M/IoT service portfolio, Ooredoo’s new low-power wide area (LPWA) end-to-end IoT solutions are backed up by in-house IoT experts, product managers, hardware and software developers, consultants, solution architects, and technical support. Ooredoo’s Chief Commercial Officer Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad bin Nasser Al Thani announced: ‘Narrowband-IoT represents yet another significant step forward in the digital revolution, helping our customers move ever closer to being fully smart businesses. At Ooredoo, we place great importance on being a trusted partner for our business customers. We welcome the opportunity to show them how solutions such as the new NB-IoT can help them drive their businesses forward. Consistent investment in networks and an IoT platform enables us to quickly build an IoT use case such as Condition Monitoring using NB-IoT.’ TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Ooredoo’s rival Vodafone Qatar announced the launch of NB-IoT network services in October 2019.

Zain Kuwait has signed a contract to provide its Zain Drone services to Kuwait’s Public Authority of Industry, in a project involving aerial topographical surveys using autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) capturing corrected georeferenced imagery for data analysis. Zain Drone CEO AbdulAziz Jawad commented: ‘The Public Authority of Industry has an important mission to supervise economic activity in industrial areas in Kuwait. We believe our services and technology are amongst the most precise and sophisticated available anywhere in the region, allowing our industrial and commercial clients to undertake tasks with greater efficiency and lower cost than when utilising traditional methods.’

Telit announced that its FN980 5G data card has successfully completed interoperability testing in the sub-6GHz spectrum range on the 5G network of Japanese cellco NTT DOCOMO, having previously operated on the 4G network, enabling original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to take advantage of Gigabit LTE and future-proof their products for 5G, suitable for a wide variety of bandwidth intensive IoT applications, including high definition (HD) surveillance video, digital signage and industrial routers/gateways. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System, the FN980 series supports sub-6GHz FDD/TDD and LTE Category 20 – 7x carrier aggregation. Osamu Sato, country director for Telit, noted that 5G interoperability in mmWave frequency bands would also be provided in due course.

NTT DOCOMO has also announced a successful 5G test in partnership with Sony, remotely controlling Sony’s Sociable Cart (SC-1) entertainment vehicle carrying passengers in Guam from a base 2,500km away in Tokyo, via a 5G network provided by DOCOMO Pacific. Video of the vehicle’s perimeter was captured with Sony image sensors and sent in real time to a Sony office in Tokyo where the vehicle was driven remotely while the operator watched a monitor, taking advantage of 5G’s low latency, large capacity and higher-speed connectivity. A press release stated: ‘In the emerging age of autonomous mobility, remote operation and monitoring are becoming increasingly important. The cross-border operation of vehicles is expected to enable global mobility services that benefit from personnel working in various time zones.’

Orange Romania has opened registration for its ‘Cities of the Future’ programme dedicated to startups developing products that improve people’s experience in cities and public administration processes. Winning startups will enter the ‘Orange Fab’ acceleration programme in June this year, where they will benefit from mentoring and access to technologies such as 5G, LoRaWAN and LTE-M. In recent years, Orange Romania has implemented over 30 smart city projects, from its own connectivity solutions such as Mobile Wi-Fi to special projects with partners in the areas of security, education, energy efficiency, tourism and video surveillance. Since 2017, projects have been carried out in partnership with startups such as uRADMonitor, SecurifAI and Siscale for the development of air quality monitoring solutions and AI video surveillance among other services.

Lastly, Russia’s State Commission for Radio Frequencies (SCRF) has indicated plans to allocate additional frequencies in the 300MHz-400MHz ranges for IoT services specifically using Russian-manufactured technology, despite there being no domestic IoT equipment to take advantage of the bandwidth, according to market players and experts interviewed by Izvestia, as reported by ComNews. The SCRF is planning to allocate ten-year licences for the 301MHz-306MHz, 337MHz-343MHz, 343MHz-344MHz and 390MHz-394MHz bands.

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