IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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16 Sep 2021

Canada’s Videotron Business announced that it is partnering fellow Quebec-based firm X-TELIA to ‘stimulate the virtual transformation of cities, municipalities, government organisations and businesses’ in the province. X-TELIA provides LoRaWAN-based IoT solutions using low frequency bands with minimal energy consumption and high levels of security and reliability. France-Eliane Nolet, vice director of commercial strategies at Videotron Business, said: ‘Our ultimate goal is to make cities smarter, businesses more efficient and citizens safer.’

In Brazil, Sao Jose dos Campos Technology Park signed a cooperation agreement with Claro, Embratel and Ericsson to develop, validate and test solutions involving 5G, IoT and IoT-Mobile (IoT-M) that meet the needs of the corporate market, mainly aimed at the Industry 4.0, Agribusiness, Health, Smart City and Education segments. The objective of the partnership is to identify companies and scientific and technological institutions that are interested in co-creating to address the needs of their businesses and customers. A test and development environment will be installed within the Park running on 3.5GHz frequencies using 5G Standalone technology, based on a scientific/experimental licence granted by telecoms regulator Anatel to Claro.

Vodafone has commissioned a report backing 5G and IoT technologies to play a critical role in the UK government’s net zero strategy, claiming digital innovations could significantly reduce carbon emissions while creating up to 175,000 new jobs. As reported by TechRadar, Vodafone estimates that around 54% of the twelve million IoT connections powered by its network directly enable customers to reduce emissions, while it highlights that IoT data gathering supports researchers in efforts to combat climate change. The report claims that accelerating adoption of new technologies in just three sectors – manufacturing, transport and agriculture – could reduce annual UK emissions by 4%. For example, AI, Machine Learning and Smart Building tech can improve factory production line efficiency while telematics enables logistics firms to identify optimal delivery routes, and smart sensors improve monitoring of crops, soil, fertiliser, feed and water. Current UK targets are to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 and achieve net zero by 2050. Vodafone itself aims to be net zero by 2030.

Australia’s Optus Enterprise and Myriota have partnered Queensland’s Moreton Bay Regional Council to deploy ‘unique’ IoT satellite sensors to monitor water levels in outdoor tanks, eliminating the need to send staff to remote locations for manual checks. The council is the first in Australia to deploy this method of remote monitoring, providing near real time data via low earth orbit satellites, enabling it to make informed decisions about water usage and solve problems caused by unexpected water shortages while optimising operations and resources.

Irish wireless tech company Net Feasa has formed a strategic partnership with Vodafone to provide global connectivity for its ‘IoTPASS’ intermodal smart container system, built on Net Feasa’s Connectivity-as-a-Service platform. The system will use Vodafone’s global IoT network to track individual containers rather than the truck, ship or train they are carried by, providing a single unified data set across the supply chain. ‘With approximately 29 million active dry containers in circulation globally, and a shortage of containers across the globe due to the pandemic, there is a significant opportunity to transform the transportation of goods into a digitally enabled, smart logistical ecosystem through our unique solution,’ said Mike Fitzgerald, chairman of Net Feasa.

Telstra and Cisco announced plans for continued collaboration with a new five-year agreement to provide advanced connectivity management for IoT services with Telstra Control Centre powered by Cisco. The Australian telco currently provides IoT services to thousands of clients including Australia’s major financial institutions, retailers and government, while Cisco IoT Control Centre is a mobile IoT SaaS platform serving the connected car industry, currently used in more than 50 service provider networks and 30,000 enterprises supporting more than 185 million connected devices. Cisco works with service provider customers like Telstra to explore 5G use cases that will drive value, including private 5G, with the platform supporting both 5G standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) networks.

Kenya’s Safaricom is set to earn KES53.5 billion (USD482 million) for installing smart electricity meters to Kenya Power’s large consumers under a draft deal aimed at curbing power theft and leakages and fixing weaknesses on the utility firm’s transmission network, reports Business Daily. The telco is planning to install a KES31 billion intelligent system that will connect 330,300 electricity meters to a central location and track electricity use, power outages and load on transformers as well as read meters remotely. Safaricom aims to recover its investments in four years and transfer the meter network to Kenya Power after eight years.

Veolia Group and Orange Poland have announced the joint implementation of a Smart City Project involving remote monitoring of energy/heating and water supply systems and the introduction of intelligent metering. A release disclosed that Veolia and Orange are expanding an existing partnership after signing a Letter of Intent to deploy new solutions in ‘several’ Polish cities, with an overarching aim of improving energy efficiency. President of Orange Poland Julien Ducarroz noted: ‘About 80 Polish cities already use the original Smart City solutions from Orange. We enable our clients to efficiently manage infrastructure such as water meters, smoke detectors or city bikes. We have already implemented Smart Water solutions in 34 cities and towns across the country. We integrate services and technology into one platform that perfectly fits the idea of a ‘smart city’, allowing you to manage the complete IoT service environment: devices, communication and data. We want to dynamically develop this segment of our IoT-based services and we consider cooperation with Veolia to be an important step in this direction.’ Veolia currently partners 123 local governments in Poland, manages heating networks in 78 cities and provides heat, energy and water to nearly three million recipients.

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