IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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2 Sep 2021

AT&T and Cisco have announced the introduction of 5G network capabilities to boost performance for IoT applications across the US. The AT&T 5G network is now ready to deliver lower latency and faster speeds for enterprise customer IoT deployments using 5G certified devices, with a joint press release declaring: ‘5G opens the door to massive IoT connectivity that will create opportunities to transform retail, make autonomous vehicles and smart factories a reality, and revolutionise healthcare.’ AT&T and Cisco currently manage millions of connected devices spanning manufacturing, utilities, transportation, public sector, retail, and healthcare industries as well as public safety on the FirstNet network. AT&T Control Centre powered by Cisco gives businesses near real-time visibility of all the IoT devices on their network and helps mitigate security risks, identifies anomalies in data usage and optimises traffic classification reporting. Adding the capabilities of AT&T’s nationwide sub-6GHz 5G network enables enterprises such as manufacturing, automotive and entertainment to take advantage of the higher bandwidth and lower latency available across the country. In examples highlighted by AT&T, owners of 5G-capable connected vehicles will experience faster speeds for downloading, streaming and sharing music, video and software updates, plus navigation and mapping while on the go. Mobile Personal Emergency Response Device providers and users will benefit from faster response times via 5G, while manufacturers can utilise 5G’s low latency for camera technology to monitor and identify product defects in near real-time on the assembly line to reduce waste.

Canadian operator Telus has sealed a deal to connect GM’s next-generation vehicles to its 5G network. Scott Bell, president of GM Canada, said: ‘As we move to 5G, GM will introduce a range of new convenience and entertainment features as well as new driver-assistance technologies on our journey to zero crashes and zero congestion.’ Network enhancements will include: improved roadway-centric coverage; faster music and video downloads with higher quality; faster, more reliable, and secure over-the-air software updates; faster navigation, mapping, and voice services. The first GM vehicles with built-in connectivity to Telus’ 4G LTE and 5G network are expected to be introduced with the 2025 model year. Additionally, through GM’s fifth-generation rollout, current 4G LTE-equipped model year 2019 and newer vehicles will be able to migrate to the new Telus network. As a result, current Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac owners in Canada will experience faster connectivity speeds and some of the same performance benefits of future 5G-equipped vehicles.

In Indonesia, XL Axiata has signed a two-year collaboration agreement with IPB University and Astra Manufacturing Polytechnic (Polman Astra) to jointly develop digital solutions based on an IoT platform running on the operator’s 5G network, with projects addressing sectors including manufacturing, automotive (e.g. ‘Quality Auto Inspection’ and Automated Guided Vehicle programmes) and agriculture (e.g. 5G support for IPB’s ‘Melon Harvesting Robot’). For the development of IoT-based digital solutions, XL Axiata – through the ‘X-Camp’ IoT development laboratory – says it has collaborated with several campuses to provide solutions for industry segments from logistics to smart building, and the operator anticipates that 5G networks/devices will facilitate more advanced solutions in meeting the needs of the ‘increasingly complex industrial world’.

IoT solutions/connectivity provider KORE has announced the expansion of its international partnership with LoRaWAN operator Everynet into the US. KORE CEO Romil Bahl stated: ‘Our relationship with Everynet is battle-tested in Brazil where we started our partnership some three years ago, and we are bringing those learnings into the US as LoRa begins to mature in this country.’ Everynet expects its US LoRaWAN network to be operational in 36 cities and 100 logistics points by the end of November 2021, while company systems have already been fully integrated into the KORE platforms for the US market to enable customers to simplify their Massive IoT deployments.

Finnish broadcasting/telecoms/IoT operator Digita has established a Nordic IoT roaming partnership with fellow LoRaWAN network operators Altibox in Norway and Pingday/StadshubbsAlliansen in Sweden. Pingday’s national IoT and LoRaWAN collaboration, Stadshubbsalliansen.se, was launched in 2018, with 50-plus Swedish municipalities (from Lund in the south to Kiruna in the north) sharing an IoT platform. Digita’s nationwide LoRaWAN network serves ‘hundreds of customers’ in Finland while the company enables the functioning of IoT services in other countries via data network roaming. Altibox is a triple-play fibre network operator claiming ‘close to 40 fibre partners and over 700,000 subscribers in Norway and Denmark’ and operates a LoRaWAN network covering over a million households in Norway whilst developing IoT services in partnership with municipalities and businesses.

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Canada, Finland, Indonesia, Norway, Sweden, United States, Altibox (incl. Lyse Tele), AT&T Communications, Cisco Systems, Digita (Finland), Everynet (group), Everynet (USA), KORE Wireless, Pingday, Telus Corporation, XL Axiata