IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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19 Aug 2021

Vodafone UK has announced the launch of ‘unique’ IoT management capabilities to accelerate change in the water industry, enabling water companies to integrate a wide range of old and new devices and sensors into a single platform, freeing them from being locked into purchasing equipment from a single supplier. The end-to-end technology-agnostic solution, delivered through Vodafone’s IoT.nxt platform, will support wastage reduction and efficiency gains by bringing applications such as smart metering and leak detection together on a single platform, improving performance of monitoring and detection systems. The new solution follows the completion of a project to double the number of NB-IoT sites, with Vodafone’s NB-IoT coverage now reaching 98% of the UK’s geography. For areas not yet covered by NB-IoT, Vodafone will work with customers to upgrade and add infrastructure on a case-by-case basis. Vodafone UK business director Anne Sheehan said: ‘There is growing demand on the UK water companies to increase efficiency and reduce wastage. We’ve worked closely with the water industry to identify a common problem and develop a simple solution … We are making it as easy as possible to ensure water companies can benefit from cutting-edge technology and connectivity to meet important regulatory and environmental standards.’ One major industry client, SES Water, already uses Vodafone IoT to detect water leaks.

Telenor Denmark has entered into major new NB-IoT roaming agreements with Vodafone Group and AT&T, covering Germany, the UK, the US and other countries. The operator declared that Danish companies with IoT ambitions outside the country’s borders now have better opportunities with NB-IoT connectivity especially aimed at small battery-powered devices and usage cases where data volume is low and where fast response times are not paramount. Jan Rasmussen, business manager at Telenor, commented: ‘These are some important agreements, because they mean that our IoT customers can safely and simply send their devices out into the world without fear of losing the connection.’

NTT has launched a private LTE/5G Network-as-a-Service platform (‘P5G’) under a strategy to drive digital transformation for international clients. Eric Clark, NTT Data Services North America Chief Digital & Strategy Officer, announced: ‘As data and mobility become more critical to business operations, 5G will enable enterprises to reinvent business operations. With faster speeds and more data, 5G will facilitate advances in AI, automation and IoT. How a company collects, stores, and uses that data in real time will be critical to success, and NTT is well positioned to guide our clients on this journey.’ Shahid Ahmed, NTT EVP New Ventures & Innovation, commented: ‘Global enterprises are looking for a single private 5G solution to deploy across multiple countries. They need one truly private network, one point of accountability, one management platform, and one solution partner that eliminates all the major friction points across the entire global footprint of the enterprise. Our NTT P5G offering supports many of the CXO requirements today, and we will continue to invest in P5G as enterprise adoption evolves.’

Tele2 Russia announced its latest regional government cooperation agreements in the regions of Tyumen and Buryatia, covering digital economy projects, mobile infrastructure expansion/upgrade, deployment of IoT technologies, industrial automation and projects based on big data analytics, under terms spanning 2021-26. Separately, Tele2 has launched a Smart Parking service in Moscow in partnership with Mobile Solutions, featuring automatic payments and a new smart device/app designed to save drivers’ costs by automatically returning money from unused minutes of allotted parking sessions and avoiding fines for violating parking rules.

Also in Russia, MegaFon has implemented an IoT project based on the new UltraWideBand (UWB) technology at the Magnitogorsk iron and steel works, providing automated positioning accuracy for self-unloading carts. UWB’s bandwidth (at least 500MHz) allows transmission rates of up to 480Mbps over short distances of up to 3m (reduced to 110Mbps at 10m), with high noise immunity – crucial in industrial plant environments.

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