IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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6 May 2021

Zimbabwe’s Econet Wireless has launched a range of M2M services which it says will boost productivity and efficiency for businesses and be a key enabler in achieving a digital economy, reports Newsday. Econet declared: ‘The adoption of M2M-based applications, particularly in areas such as smart agriculture, healthcare, tele-education, smart building and smart cities, among others, will have an enormous impact in boosting the country’s socio-economic development and enabling the transition to a digital economy.’ The company added that organisations involved in fleet management and vehicle tracking, Point Of Sale (POS) machines and fiscal devices, security and surveillance, along with smart metering, should consider M2M services as ‘mission-critical’, saying it would leverage its extensive network footprint for maximum client benefit across the country and beyond.

International communications enabler BICS has added private mobile networks connectivity to its ‘SIM for Things’ solution, which it says will allow system integrators, OEMs, and hardware manufacturers to enhance their competitiveness with new compelling use cases for connected devices which function both inside and outside the private network on a single SIM, seamlessly moving between the two when required. Combined with BICS’ global Private IPX & Cloud Connect solutions, the data generated by connected devices on the public network is securely transported to the datacentre of the private network, completely independently of the public internet. BICS’ SIM for Things solution provides ‘borderless’ connectivity across 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, 5G, LTE-M and NB-IoT networks with coverage in over 200 countries.

Claro Brasil has recently tripled its NB-IoT and Cat-M territorial network coverage across Brazilian states including Sao Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul, reports Teletime. For instance, in Sao Paulo state, while LTE coverage reaches only 30.5% of the territory, Cat-M increases this figure to 66.7% and NB-IoT, to 85.2%, while in Rio Grande do Sul the territorial coverage figures are 7.5% (LTE), 28.2% (Cat-M) and 51.8% (NB-IoT). Claro’s IoT director noted that the key driving factor in the territorial expansion was IoT services for the agribusiness sector, saying ‘this is the most important vertical and the one we are investing the most money in’. Claro intends to cover an additional 15 million hectares in 2021 with Cat-M technology (having reached 85 million hectares by end-2020).

Sticking with Brazil, Embratel, part of the Claro Brasil group, has partnered the City of Teresopolis to test remote, real-time online monitoring of vaccine temperatures, with a solution called ‘PackID’. IoT sensors are used to check for temperature variations, generating online records and real-time alerts on Embratel’s management platform. In cases of undue changes in temperature, immediate measures can be taken to avoid the loss of vaccines and other medications.

Semtech and EchoStar Mobile have launched an initiative to test satellite connectivity services enabled by the LoRaWAN protocol. EchoStar Mobile’s senior director of commercial operations Telemaco Melia said: ‘With our technology collaborator, Semtech, and as a new member of the LoRa Alliance, we are excited to explore the use of next-generation LoRaWAN network technology to bring new satellite-based connectivity services to the IoT market. New LoRa satellite services are expected to bring lower price points to the market, opening up a larger addressable opportunity across key industries including logistics, asset tracking, transportation, utilities, agriculture, and maritime.’

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