IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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15 Jul 2021

Wireless Logic, a UK-based IoT/M2M connectivity platform provider with over seven million devices connected globally, has strengthened its European presence with the acquisition of Italy-based IoT connectivity provider Things Mobile. Headquartered in Milan, Things Mobile is a managed service provider that delivers connectivity for international customers across a wide range of IoT applications, and has experienced rapid growth since its launch in 2017, serving major customers in the energy, eHealth and micromobility sectors.

Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has established an ‘IoT Competence Centre’ as part of the Russian government’s programme to support development of domestic IoT solutions. Together with developers, integrators, consumers and other industry participants MTS will assess proposed IoT projects which may qualify for state subsidies. Companies purchasing Russian equipment including radio modules, sensors and meters, can apply for financial support. A company statement said: ‘MTS has been supporting Russian manufacturers of IoT solutions and devices for several years. The company provides all the necessary infrastructure: the country’s largest Internet of Things NB-IoT network, a platform for creating its own MTS IoT HUB applications, a Development Kit for the development of energy-efficient devices, the ability to use eSIM. We ourselves are also one of the largest customers of IoT equipment: all meters and NB-IoT sensors in our projects are manufactured in Russia.’

Driverless car service Halo, which is connected via the T-Mobile US 5G network in Las Vegas, says it will launch commercial services later this year, initially available in urban parts of the Las Vegas Valley. Already operating pilot services on public roads in the city, Halo will enable passengers to summon a driverless electric car to take them to their destination via an app.

Solutions by STC, the B2B arm of STC Kuwait, has partnered General Motors (GM) for an in-vehicle connectivity solution to support GM’s OnStar service, providing drivers with automatic crash response, stolen vehicle assist, emergency services, on-demand diagnostics, roadside support, and internet subscriptions. The in-vehicle service will be available on GM brands including Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac, across most 2021 models which will be equipped with an STC eSIM to power OnStar.

KUKA, a manufacturer of industrial robots and automation solutions, will deploy Nokia 5G Standalone (SA) private wireless networking at its Smart Production and Development Centre in Augsburg, Germany. The company stated: ‘KUKA will develop solutions that harness the potential of 5G’s fast, reliable and secure connectivity. By partnering with Nokia for private wireless networking, we have now established a long-term development roadmap that will allow us to capitalise on the new capabilities in future 5G releases for our automation solutions.’ In similar developments, German IT service provider Cocus has chosen Airspan Networks to provide a 5G Open RAN suite of software and hardware solutions for its 5G SA campus network.

In Romania, Orange Business Services has entered a strategic partnership with Nooka Space on IoT, hardware and software integrated solutions, with Orange clients offered usage of Nooka’s ‘proximity offices’ equipped with high speed internet/IoT/M2M connectivity plus an ecosystem incorporating an intelligent real-time monitoring/control module, to manage energy consumption and environmental parameters securely and remotely. Nooka Space provides ‘a network of proximity offices that are hi-tech, secure and decked-out, that can be placed anywhere and rented using an app, at an accessible price point.’

Japan’s KDDI has formally launched its ‘Global IoT Access’ connectivity service enabling IoT roaming in many countries worldwide alongside multiple services from subsidiary Soracom via the KDDI IoT Worldwide Architecture, a business platform that supports global projects and is being rolled out to the automotive industry and many other sectors.

In Cambodia, Smart Axiata has launched a range of new IoT devices including security cameras, smoke detectors, Wi-Fi light bulbs and a Wi-Fi remote, in conjunction with electronics producer NINE, enabling customers to control their electronic devices via the Smart Life app. Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt said: ‘IoT is expected to transform people’s lives and their approach to technology. By connecting ordinary household devices to the internet, today’s smart device consumer will have greater control over their modern day-to-day lives and home security.’

Mobile operator Tele2 Russia has signed an agreement on digitalisation with the government of the Murmansk region, including expansion of network coverage alongside potential projects incorporating NB-IoT, big data solutions, industrial process automation and environmental monitoring systems. Tele2 Russia’s parent Rostelecom, meanwhile, has disclosed that the customer base of its ‘Rostelecom.Key’ smart home services passed the 165,000 household mark by the end of June 2021, with the most popular option being a ‘door-phone’ service. In a similar vein, rival Beeline Russia has recently launched a video surveillance service for its residential broadband customers.

UK giant BT and Associated British Ports (ABP) are trialling the next generation of IoT and sensor technology to speed up the movement and processing of cargo goods and digitise the Port of Ipswich’s logistics and operations processes. ABP and BT have installed IoT devices on cranes and transport equipment for the safe and efficient collection and transportation of cargoes. The data generated by BT’s IoT solution are captured, analysed and visualised on BT’s Intelligent Asset platform to boost efficiency. Dean Terry, Managing Director, Corporate and Public Sector, BT’s Enterprise unit said: ‘In deploying our IoT solution, we’re able to help produce intelligent, actionable insights to support the teams on the ground to monitor equipment in real-time, and make instant, autonomous decisions to speed up the supply chain. This is made possible by combining our award-winning 4G EE network with our deep expertise in sensor technology, network infrastructure and supply chains.’

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