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IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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1 Jul 2021

Belgian network operator Citymesh has announced the acquisition of the Belgian Sigfox IoT operator Engie M2M. A press release said: ‘Sigfox offers ultra-low power consumption combined with low hardware and network costs. This network type is ideally suited for digital water meters, track & trace applications, and challenging locations such as concrete or underground structures’, while also noting its global roaming capabilities for international customers. In Belgium, the Sigfox ‘0G’ network currently connects more than 250,000 IoT devices. Citymesh already offers IoT services and will further strengthen its market position with the acquisition. CEO Mitch De Geest declared: ‘Now, we can offer all communication technologies, from 0G to 5G. Our customers, ranging from cities to enterprises, can rely on us for all-in-one solutions, completely tailored to their budget and needs. For example, a city can opt for a Wi-Fi network in the public library, smart city furniture in a market square and noise sensors in busy streets to map out noise pollution. A company may choose a mobile private 5G network combined with smart sensors.’

Vodafone Ukraine, Ericsson and DTEK are launching a 5G-based Smart Factory project at Kharkiv-based Corum Svitlo Shakhtarya engineering plant, which produces mining equipment. The partners will deploy a 5G Private Network integrating a variety of mobile devices, production equipment, actuation devices and remote and automated control systems of various types. The project will involve piloting functions such as remote drone-based diagnostics of equipment and buildings using 360 cameras in Ukraine for the first time. Ericsson will provide its Enterprise Core to power the network and radio access featuring the Ericsson Radio Dot System solution.

Deutsche Telekom is partnering 1NCE and Amazon Web Services (AWS) on a ‘zero touch service’ integrating IoT for enterprise clients, enabling automatic device identification/registration via the cloud. SIM cards are used for automatic authentication and onboarding of devices, with data protocols implemented for each individual use case, utilising protocols such as UDP and CoAP in combination with AWS.

Australia’s Telstra has secured its largest IoT deal to date, with a 15-year contract from Yarra Valley Water to provide ‘one million industrial IoT services’ via its NB-IoT/LTE-M IoT network. Telstra added that this is the first large-scale IoT deployment utilising its new cloud-based platform-as-a-service IoT Connection Manager (ICM). Telstra currently claims over four million active connections on its IoT network.

Orange, Sierra Wireless, Lacroix and STMicroelectronics have launched a partnership under the IoT Continuum banner with the goal to ‘scale up the digital transformation of industrial markets.’ IoT Continuum aims to accelerate the wide adoption and deployment of cellular IoT – Massive IoT over LTE and 5G – in Europe and beyond to open up new growth opportunities with significant CAPEX savings for customers in vertical markets such as Smart Buildings, Automotive, Health, Smart Cities and Smart Manufacturing. The partnership brings together expertise across connectivity, hardware, software, design and manufacturing to support businesses’ IoT projects on cellular networks ‘from ideation to industrialisation’ without having to liaise with multiple players on the market. Orange has also presented self-powered IoT devices at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. Prototype ‘000Device’ connected trackers, aimed at sectors including logistics, are self-powered using light energy.

As highlighted in its ‘Sport 4.0’ demo at MWC, Telefonica has developed together with Granada Club de Futbol a transformation project based on the Global Sport Platform of Telefonica Tech IoT & Big Data. The purpose is to analyse the different sources of data to improve sports performance, attract talent and monitor and improve sports performance of players. Combining 5G technology, edge computing and IoT, the platform provides the club with agility and flexibility for rapid decision making. The scalable platform is designed to be multi-sport, so it would be suitable for other sporting activities. Elsewhere, Telefonica, via the Telefonica Tech unit, has sealed a deal to connect 450,000 smart meters in Spain in collaboration with Global Omnium, based on NB-IoT cellular technology.

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