IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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22 Jul 2021

Vodafone UK has doubled the number of sites in its NB-IoT network to meet the increasing demand for IoT services and says that NB-IoT coverage will reach 98% of its mobile network. Furthermore, the cellco notes that NB-IoT coverage goes beyond the traditional mobile footprint, as the network is designed for devices with lower bandwidth requirements. For use cases where lower signal is sufficient (-128dBm) Vodafone’s NB-IoT network will exceed 98% geographical coverage (both indoor and outdoor). For stronger signal requirements (-118dBm) it reaches 87% geographical coverage (both indoor and outdoor). For those areas that are not covered by the NB-IoT network today, the operator says it will work with customers to upgrade and add infrastructure on a case-by-case basis. Vodafone has seen increased demand across numerous industries for connectivity solutions supporting use cases such as industrial and commercial metering, water monitoring, asset tracking, and smart city applications, including air quality monitoring. The network is already being used by customers across multiple industries, including SES Water and United Utilities to detect leaks in underground pipes and other infrastructure.

Mobile operator O2 UK is partnering satellite operator Hispasat in testing a new ‘ubiquitous communications’ technology in Cornwall, England, with capabilities to instantly switch between 5G mobile and satellite broadband if one network becomes unavailable, thus allowing devices to stay connected continuously while on the move. The project, which aims to produce a publicly available device that can be installed in vehicles on the factory line (e.g. supporting connectivity for autonomous vehicles, mobile health clinics, public transport in rural areas, etc.), reflects a wider collaboration involving Amazon Web Services (AWS), the UK Space Agency, the European Space Agency and the Darwin Innovation Group, reports ISPreview.

Senet is significantly expanding the build-out of its public LoRaWAN network across the Tampa Bay Metropolitan Region. With dense carrier-grade coverage already in place supporting Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) for water utilities, Senet is expanding its network to cover over 1,600 square miles across Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties, including the cities of Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg. This network will be the largest and densest metropolitan deployment of public carrier-grade LoRaWAN connectivity in North America, providing capacity to support millions of IoT device connections from over 80 planned tower sites. The network will provide both broad outdoor coverage and indoor penetration, aimed at sectors including energy & utility, municipal (Smart City), manufacturing and distribution, asset tracking and multi-location campus enterprise solutions.

US-based Terranet Communications and Baicells announced the deployment of what they claim to be the nation’s largest 5G-ready LTE private municipal network for the City of Las Vegas. The network, named Advanced Connectivity for Community and Economic Development (ACCED), was initially commissioned due to concern over the digital divide many citizens and students faced as a result of the increased requirement for remote work and education caused by the onset of COVID-19. Plans are now in progress to expand the network across the entire city of Las Vegas and potentially neighbouring cities, with goals of improving connectivity for city services including law enforcement, telehealth, and general IoT infrastructure.

Maltese operator Melita has announced that its European IoT/M2M division has added LoRaWAN IoT connectivity in Malta to its service range. deployed NB-IoT across Malta and Gozo islands in 2019, and LoRaWAN is now being added as an alternative technology option due to the proliferation of sensors using this connectivity standard for various applications. The development follows’s rollout of a LoRaWAN network across Germany, with clients able to access services via the same portal also used to manage cellular SIM-based IoT applications.

Polish network operator Netia has introduced the Netia Smart Building service, an IoT-based system for flexible resource management in offices and buildings, which it says is the first in a new line of IoT solutions which it plans to launch. Using the IoT ecosystem developed by the Polish startup Zonifero, workplace management functions are supported including booking desks, parking spaces, conference rooms, etc., plus tracking of the status of employees (presence in the office, remote work), aggregated information on the degree of use of office and parking space, and various types of surveys.

LoRaWAN operators Wireless Belgium (Wireless Things) and Netherlands-based Techtenna have entered into a strategic partnership to connect their networks and platforms. Stefan Lambrechts, director and owner of Wireless Belgium, said: ‘With Techtenna and its solution partners, we can better serve customers with not only connectivity, but also services that can be directly applied to customers in their business operations.’ Marco Sprenkels, CEO of Techtenna, added: ‘IoT has transcended the concept phase and the business community is starting to discover the possibilities. Thanks to the strategic collaboration with the Wireless Things LoRaWAN network and the knowledge and experience of the Wireless Belgium team, we can serve our customers even better.’

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Belgium, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, United States, HISPASAT, Melita,, Netia, O2 UK, Senet, Techtenna, Terranet Communications, Vodafone UK, Wireless Things (Belgium)